Monday, August 23, 2010

Draft Research and Press Releases

I have commented elsewhere on the draft paper (it is headed "Draft: August 12, 2010") by Stephen K. Urice (University of Miami, School of Law) with Andrew Adler (University of Miami), "Unveiling the Executive Branch's Extralegal Cultural Property Policy", University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-20 [SSRN].

The paper is a working draft and references are incomplete or contain errors. For example, the name of the importer of the Egyptian coffin sold by a Barcelona galerista is incorrect. As far as I can see the paper has yet to go through the scrutiny of external referees. 

The paper contains a discussion of recent activities by the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG). Yet instead of waiting for the polished, refined, improved, developed, and completed paper Wayne Sayles has issued a press release ("Academics Cite Extralegal Cultural Property Policies at the State Department", August 23, 2010) to draw attention to the (draft) paper. 

Sayles, the ACCG executive director, states:

"As a defender of the licit numismatic trade and avocation of ancient coin collecting, I naturally feel that this sort of review is long overdue and most welcome. The conclusion of Urice and Adler is shared by others in the field of cultural property law and the noted Executive branch practices have come increasingly into the spotlight over the past decade. That the extralegal activities of DOS, for example, should now be surfacing in legal reviews is encouraging and timely since a legal challenge of those activities, launched by the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, is now underway in U.S. District Court at Baltimore. I hasten to point out that, as with the authors cited here, ACCG opposition to extralegal practices within the Executive Branch does not equate to an endorsement of the looting of sites nor of the black market in antiquities."
So is the ACCG happy to endorse incomplete and erroneous research?

And what do Urice and Adler think about this publicity to their unfinished work? Did Sayles or the ACCG consult them or ask their permission to issue the release? Would Urice and Adler have asked the ACCG to wait until they were happy that their work was complete?

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