Stone agrees with Cuno over the distribution of objects around the world "to better ensure their preservation, broaden our knowledge of them, and increase the world's access to them" (Cuno). But Stone asks how this distribution is to be made.
He then alludes to what I presume is the example of the Harvard acquisition of pottery fragments. (I presume Stone means 1995 when he gives the date of 1998.) Stone continues:
That a museum director could have been oblivious to the issue [sc. the 1970 Unesco Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property] in 1998 [sic.?] is staggering, almost unbelievable.Stone presents a solution to the lack of progress:
Yes, let's have museums around the world with examples of material from around the world, but let's achieve it through dialogue and agreement and not through the continuation of a system that is so obviously flawed.
The returns to Italy and the need for the AAMD to produce new guidelines on acquisitions and short-term loans have confirmed the faults in the present system.
Stone ends with some strong words about Cuno's approach. Directors of encyclopaedic art museums "are badly served by this book that entrenches their position". But the punch is in the closing paragraph:
I assume that many will hope and some I know will pray that this book represents the last death throes of a failed traditional world-view: the dominance of the many by the (very) few; the dominance of a Western scientific tradition over all others; the dominance of a closed view clinging, perhaps subconsciously, to what can only be described as colonial oppression. Perhaps if a dinosaur could have written a book arguing against its extinction, it would have read like this.
Cuno appears to be failing in his bid to win over his critics.