Reliance on tourism, he points out,
carries with it the distasteful tradeoffs, such as the commodification of heritage, and the wear-and-tear which millions of visitors will always cause. Hopefully nations of origin will be able to move beyond the dramatic repatriations, which are a necessary step, and continue to work to preserve the sites themselves.But it is difficult to see how countries of origin will be able to do more to preserve the sites themselves absent some concerted effort to demand that any deal involving repatriation and loan agreements also involve some mechanism for generating revenues for site protection from within the market states, not from tourism dollars. The most appropriate source for such revenues is the antiquities market. Imposing a tax on all sales of antiquities would require lawmaking, of course, and countries of origin may feel it would be easier to make a deal with individual museums and collectors than to pressure them to call on Congress to tax the antiquities market. Dealers are almost certain to oppose any such measure, as well. But a cartel is far more powerful than any individual country, and with the stick and carrot of repatriation and loans in hand countries of origin have at least a chance to succeed. Surely it is worth a try.