Friday, March 6, 2009

Did 1983 make a difference to acquistions?

David W.J. Gill and Christopher Chippindale, "South Italian Pottery in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Acquired Since 1983", Journal of Field Archaeology 33, 4 (Winter 2008) 462-72. [Website]
See also: Christina Luke and Morag Kersel, "Archaeological Heritage and Ethics", 461-62.

The 2006 deaccessioning of antiquities from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for return to Italy drew attention to the networks that allowed objects to be sold on the market. This case study analyses thirteen South Italian pots (Apulian and Paestan) which were acquired by the MFA since the revised accessions policy of 1983. Only three appear to have documentation that shows that they were known prior to 1970, and another three formed part of the 2006 return. The remaining pots include associations with restorers and dealers who are known to have been linked to the trade in recently surfaced antiquities. This suggests that museums need to adopt more rigorous policies to ensure that they do not acquire antiquities that may have been removed illegally from archaeological sites.

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