The UCS Academy hosted a 'Conversation' last night. BBC journalist Mark Murphy explored some of the issues relating to the looting of cultural property. We were able to discuss how looting is not just confined to the Mediterranean and other parts of the world, but even to East Anglia. We noted the notorious looting of the Roman bronzes from Icklingham, and expressed the strong hope that the present proprietor of some of them, Shelby White, would return them to Suffolk where they belong. Suffolk farmer John Browning was present in the audience.
We commented on the issues of metal-detecting. I had observed a series of 'searchers', supported by several minibuses, around a major Roman scheduled monument in Essex earlier this spring. I raised the issue that finds from such 'searches' appear to be under-reported.
We also discussed the Medieval cross from St Edmunsbury that now resides in New York.
There were some excellent questions from the audience. One person asked specifically about the theft of Chinese objects from two UK university collections (one in a neighbouring county).