Discussion of the archaeological ethics surrounding the collecting of antiquities.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Smash and grab
There is something very disheartening when you see the results of looting. Objects ripped out of context. Pots broken into fragments. Sculptures smashed. So much damage to supply the market and the appetites of museums and private collectors.
Some collectors will claim that they are preserving the past, but really their desire is to own the past (and to ignore the consequences of the "owning" process).
Do auction-houses and dealers care how recently surfaced antiquities arrived on the market?
Image Dirt encrusted Roman limestone funerary bust that passed through the stock of a European dealer.