Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Missing Iraqi Art, bust of Eros, US Customs #9

American Council for Cultural Policy

According to an Art Newspaper story with a 2002 copywrite, the impetus for the creation of the American Council for Cultural Policy comes largely from Ashton Hawkins, former executive vice-president and Counsel to the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A March 27, 2003 news item says:

Art collectors and dealers including Ashton Hawkins, former counsel to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, have formed the American Council for Cultural Policy to help defend and preserve Iraq's cultural sites and artifacts. They met with U.S. Defense and State officials in early January…Art lawyer and AIA member Patty Gerstenblith remarks that "one has the strong sense that this group is using this discussion as a pretext for their ultimate goal: to change Iraq's treatment of archaeological objects." Indeed, the Council seeks to revamp the Cultural Property Implementation Act so that the U.S. cannot be as easily blocked from importing foreign antiquities.

Again from the Art Newspaper:

The inaugural meeting of its 45-person Board of Advisers on 9 October [2002], at the Fifth Avenue apartment of Guido Goldman, a collector of Uzbek textiles, drew the antiquities collector Shelby White, the former Getty curator Arthur Houghton (a vice-president), the former Kimbell Art Museum director Edmund Pillsbury, and the legal scholar Professor John Merryman. Lawyers from major museums were also there.

Guido Goldman, son of Nachum Goldman, former president of the World Zionist Organization, Dr. Goldman has amassed the world’s largest and finest private collection of Central Asian ikat wall hangings.

Shelby White, Clinton nominated Shelby White to the government's Cultural Property Advisory Committee, she "is known for being too willing to acquire objects with a dubious provenance or ownership history."

Arthur Houghton, International Policy Analyst, US Government (White House) 1989-1995, President Arthur Houghton Associates, 1995-present, specialist in Seleucid coins, author or editor of four books on numismatics, 40+ articles, his 2 volume Part 1 Seleucid Coins, a Comprehensive Catalog Part 1: Seleucus I – Antiochus III sells for 240EU.

Edmund Pillsbury, former director of the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, at age 30, he became the curator of European art at Yale University Art Gallery and later director of the Yale Center for British Art in London. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Yale.

John Merryman, Nelson Bowman Sweitzer and Marie B. Sweitzer Professor of Law (Emeritus), affiliated Professor in the Department of Art, Stanford University, leading expert in cultural property and art law.

Photo: US Department of State
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