Saturday 1 January 2022

Looting Matters 2022: Looking Ahead

What ideas will be explored in 2022? 

First, the detail of the objects returned from the Michael Steinhardt collection and Fordham University will provide material for discussion. There will be the potential to look at the way that the histories of objects can be fabricated as they pass through the market.

Second, the returns of the Steinhardt and Fordham objects have pointed to other material that may be contested. I have been particularly struck by objects derived from Latium.

Third, the Almagià returns have reminded us of the issue of figure-decorated pot sherds. Were pots broken up with the intention of reuniting the fragments? This has been explored before; for example, a discussion of the Nussberger donations to the Getty.

Fourth, it is over 10 years since the invited Forum Piece on the Portable Antiquities Scheme for the Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. My review article of 50 Roman Finds raised some issues about the reliability of information relating to findspots. What are the differences between the removal of small finds from sites in England, and parallel acts in, say, Mediterranean settings?

Fifth, I am looking forward to working on a more collaborative piece of research on the protection of heritage in England. 

I would like to wish readers of LM all my best wishes for a more hopeful 2022.

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