The passage below is accompanied by four questions. Based on the passage, choose the best answer for each question.

In 2006, the Met [art museum in the US] agreed to return the Euphronios krater, a masterpiece Greek urn that had been a museum draw since 1972. In 2007, the Getty [art museum in the US] agreed to return 40 objects to Italy, including a marble Aphrodite, in the midst of looting scandals. And in December, Sotheby’s and a private owner agreed to return an ancient Khmer statue of a warrior, pulled from auction two years before, to Cambodia.

Cultural property, or patrimony, laws limit the transfer of cultural property outside the source country’s territory, including outright export prohibitions and national ownership laws. Most art historians, archaeologists, museum officials and policymakers portray cultural property laws in general as invaluable tools for counteracting the ugly legacy of Western cultural imperialism.

During the late 19th and early 20th century — an era former Met director Thomas Hoving called “the age of piracy” — American and European art museums acquired antiquities by hook or by crook, from grave robbers or souvenir collectors, bounty from digs and ancient sites in impoverished but art-rich source countries. Patrimony laws were intended to protect future archaeological discoveries against Western imperialist designs. . . .

I surveyed 90 countries with one or more archaeological sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, and my study shows that in most cases the number of discovered sites diminishes sharply after a country passes a cultural property law. There are 222 archaeological sites listed for those 90 countries. When you look into the history of the sites, you see that all but 21 were discovered before the passage of cultural property laws. . . .

Strict cultural patrimony laws are popular in most countries. But the downside may be that they reduce incentives for foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations and educational institutions to invest in overseas exploration because their efforts will not necessarily be rewarded by opportunities to hold, display and study what is uncovered. To the extent that source countries can fund their own archaeological projects, artifacts and sites may still be discovered. . . . The survey has far-reaching implications. It suggests that source countries, particularly in the developing world, should narrow their cultural property laws so that they can reap the benefits of new archaeological discoveries, which typically increase tourism and enhance cultural pride. This does not mean these nations should abolish restrictions on foreign excavation and foreign claims to artifacts.

China provides an interesting alternative approach for source nations eager for foreign archaeological investment. From 1935 to 2003, China had a restrictive cultural property law that prohibited foreign ownership of Chinese cultural artifacts. In those years, China’s most significant archaeological discovery occurred by chance, in 1974, when peasant farmers accidentally uncovered ranks of buried terra cotta warriors, which are part of Emperor Qin’s spectacular tomb system.

In 2003, the Chinese government switched course, dropping its cultural property law and embracing collaborative international archaeological research. Since then, China has nominated 11 archaeological sites for inclusion in the World Heritage Site list, including eight in 2013, the most ever for China.

Question 4

From the passage we can infer that the author is likely to advise poor, but archaeologically-rich source countries to do all of the following, EXCEPT:


Let us examine the given choices -

Option A: The passage emphasises the benefits of international collaboration and suggests that source countries could reap the benefits of new archaeological discoveries through such collaboration. Funding institutes in other countries to undertake exploration may not align with this perspective, as it involves outsourcing the exploration rather than fostering collaboration within the source country. Thus, Option A is an unlikely recommendation.

Option B: This aligns with the idea of international collaboration and suggests that the author might advise source countries to permit foreign analysis and exhibition of archaeological finds. The passage does suggest that strict cultural property laws may hinder opportunities to hold, display, and study uncovered artefacts.

Option C: We are told that strict cultural property laws might reduce incentives for foreign governments, NGOs, and educational institutions to invest in overseas exploration. Therefore, the author would support a proactive approach to encourage these entities to invest in expeditions in source countries.

Option D: The passage highlights China's shift in strategy from strict cultural property laws to embracing collaborative international archaeological research. The author suggests that this approach has led to an increase in archaeological discoveries and recognition. Hence, this would be a relevant recommendation.

Hence, Option A is the correct choice. 

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