Cuno and Gerstenblith Face Off on Antiquities Ownership Issues

Posted on March 22, 2010


You might be thinking that I’ve got a bit of a crush on James Cuno, since this is the third audio I’ve provided in just a couple of weeks where he’s featured.  But I assure you it speaks more to how much he talks than to my personal opinion about what he’s saying. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s right, as far as nationalism goes, but he’s wrong as to where he takes his conclusion from there.

On Friday, as part of a segment called “The finder’s keepers argument for antiquities,” the Minnesota Public Radio talked to both Cuno and Patty Gerstenblith (who I’ve previously described as knower of all things knowable in cultural property law) about the ownership of antiquities.  Objects specifically considered include the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, the head of Nefertiti.  Professor Alex Jason from the University of Minnesota comes on to talk about the Dead Sea Scrolls for the last ten minutes.

The arguments themselves are not particularly unique to these discussions, but its kind of fun to hear the host and Gerstenblith sock it to Cuno on a couple of points (especially when he’s being smug).  Annoyingly, you can’t download the audio file, but you can listen to it on the MPR website by clicking here (54 minutes).

P.S. If anyone knows how to rip a .php/flash audio file on a Mac, whether via an add-on or website, please hit me up.

P.P.S. If you want to make a drinking game of it, drink for every strange pronunciation of either “Cuno” or “Gerstenblith.”