Cambodia Asks Sotheby’s Executive to Step Down From Import Panel

Posted on February 21, 2013

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Cambodian minister of cultural and fine arts, Him Chhem, has written a letter to the U.S. Department of State requesting that Sotheby’s Executive Jane A. Levine recuse herself from deliberations over import restrictions placed on Cambodian antiquities. The deliberations are currently taking place within the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, upon which Levine is a member.

The purpose of the panel is to provide the Department of State with guidance concerning how to handle “requests from foreign governments seeking to control and protect cultural heritage items.” Based on the current lawsuit between Cambodia and Sotheby’s, Chhem believes that Levine has a conflict of interest, and therefore should not participate in the panel deliberations.

Although Sotheby’s has thus far refused to comment on whether Levine has or will recuse herself, the auction house has announced that Levine would not be present at the panel’s February meeting due to a scheduling conflict.

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