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Hidden Splendors

August 02, 1992

Regarding "Same Show, Different Splendors," by Dick Reavis (July 19):

I find it quite incredible that the Mexican government can actually get away with its confiscatory 1972 ruling, which is so arbitrary it stinks.

Sure, we must stop the smuggling of artworks (and narcotics, babies, computer chips, etc.), but it places public collections and private holdings, not to say the legitimate art market, at risk. If you can't display an item for fear that some government will claim it as "cultural patrimony," then we all are that much poorer.

It will serve only to encourage the cloistering of important holdings and, among private collectors, an increase in clandestine acquisitions and holdings.

I'm waiting for the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese to come here wanting their stuff back. Then there are the Tibetans, Japanese, Africans. . . .

E. CASPI

West Hollywood

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