It's been quiet around here--too quiet. Mostly because I've done nothing at all of any interest in the past month or more, but nevertheless. What to do, what to do . . . how about a link to this positively Balzacian account of the intrigues surrounding Peru's battle with Yale University over artifacts taken by the school as part of its excavations at Machu Picchu back in the day. The cast of characters, and their varied interests, make for a far more gripping story than I ever suspected back when I first learned of the dispute a year or two ago. The article starts a little slow, but draws you in quickly after that, leading to a brilliant if cynical conclusion that I won't spoil for you. I had hoped that Donn Zaretsky would be on this one, but I'm sad to say that the Art Law Blog notes the article only briefly while announcing a little summer break. Perhaps later, then; for if I'm not mistaken, while the article takes a more jaundiced look at cultural property and heritage than one usually sees, at least openly expressed, it never quite gets around to articulating any sort of convincing legal defense that Yale might employ in the face of what seem like compelling Peruvian arguments. One can acknowledge that Peru's stance might be the product of a perfect storm of less than pure motives; but that doesn't shake their case. Good reading, in any event.
Hm, I have a bunch of slightly cranky responses to various things out on the blogs in recent weeks floating through my head. I'll try to get them up sooner or later.