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Film Archivists Protest Denial Of North Koreans

May 03, 1985| From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — A film archivists' federation has protested the State Department's decision to bar North Koreans from entering the country to attend the group's congress, saying the topics are nonpolitical.

"I fail to see what would be so alarming about letting the North Koreans in on these kinds of things," Stewart Klawans, spokesman for the Museum of Modern Art, site of the meeting, said Wednesday.

Topics include Technicolor film preservation and "various aspects of American silent slapstick comedy," he said.

The head of the North Korean national film library and two of his aides were unable to join about 100 delegates from 50 nations at the congress because they couldn't obtain visas, Klawans said.

Delegates to the 41st congress of the Federation Internationale des Archives du Film voted unanimously to send a letter of protest to Secretary of State George P. Shultz, terming the treatment of the Koreans "a major setback for the cause of international cultural cooperation."

Edward Djerejian, a State Department spokesman, said the department had no comment on the matter.

Eileen Bowser, curator of the museum's film library and a vice president of the federation, said the State Department employees with whom she spoke about the matter "never gave me any reasons" for the visa denial.

The United States does not have diplomatic relations with communist North Korea.

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