I wish I could speak with ironclad certainty about the right of fiction writers to portray anyone, from any culture, in any way we wish. In her opening address at the Brisbane Writers Festival, Lionel Shriver, a celebrated U.S. author, adamantly took that stance. Her argument appeared sound: the genre is fiction, therefore it's made up, imaginary, and nobody should take offense.
This week's legislation is an important step towards the U.S. taking on the leadership mantle in the fight against looting and cultural destruction globally. The bill proposed by Representative Keating to strengthen the capability of customs and border enforcement in preventing the traffic in cultural property is another crucial step in this campaign.