Thursday, 5 May 2016

Bolivian antiquities on Sale by UK Dealer

The proposed Bolivian/US MOU extension would prevent antiquities without the proper paperwork reaching the US market, thus helping collectors collect responsibly (by that I mean having antiquities where they can present the paperwork evidence of due diligence). Some dealers' lobbyists are opposing its extension. Perhaps this sort of thing explains why. Google "Bolivian Antiquities" and you pretty soon get this guy "Antiquities Online - a trading arm of Ancient Relics - Old World Antiquities, Precolumbian Art and Historical Collectables"
0411 A Bolivian pottery bowl in debased Tiahuanaco style, c. 200-700 A.D.  Price: £155
0410 A Bolivian pottery beaker in debased Tiahuanaco style, c. 200-700 A.D. Price £165
0407 Bolivian pottery beaker in debased Tiahuanaco style, c. 200-700 A.D. Price: £90 
0406 Bolivian pottery bowl in debased Tiahuanaco style, c. 200-700 A.D. Price: £1850405 Bolivian pottery amphora in debased Tiahuanaco style, c. 200-700 A.D. Price: £185
0425 A good-sized pottery kero from Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, c. 700 - 1200 A.D. Price: £245  good-sized it may be, but is it a "good provenanced' one? 
0415 A Bolivian pottery bowl in debased Tiahuanaco style, c. 200-700 A.D. Price: £155 

The sales spiel of each of these items adds: "Precolumbian Bolivian pottery appears rarely on the market." which is supposed, I guess to make collectors jump at the opportunity to buy some from this seller. Sadly though, there is a catch. If you are American, you cannot. Terribly discriminatory? No:
Regretfully, we are unable to sell this item to American clients due to US import restrictions.
He of course means regrettably (though I am sure he is full of regret that he bought this unsaleable stuff). Now why would THAT be? The imports are only restricted in the case of artefacts which don't have the paperwork required to legally import them. And what kind of paperwork is that? Well, we all know the answer to that one (unless you are a coin dealer/collector when we can all see you'll know next  to nothing about that).

The interesting thing about this seller is that he's one of the first dealer members of the "Wild Apricot" ADCAEA which has a Code of Ethics, they say their dealers have to stick to to be a member. Well, this is odd. Look here: 'ADCAEA Dealer unable to sell some items to USA?' PACHI Thursday, 20 November 2014. Note the bit where it says
When I pointed this out earlier (PACHI Friday, 19 September 2014, 'ADCAEA Dealer from the UK "Regrets"...' ), I was assured (McGovern Huffmann pers. comm.) that the Associations' President was going to have a word with their member about this. That obviously never happened. In what way is the ADCAEA not a sham? What would be the point in a dealer forking out the demanded $500 to belong to a sham organization? Either the ADCAEA stands for something, or it does not.
Certainly it seems a sham that the ADCAEA not only has still (two years later) not sorted out the problem why one of their dealers is offering items that cannot be legally imported into the US, but is actively campaigning against the measures keeping such material off the US market.  So, they want dealers with paperless objects to have access to the US market. This illustrates two things, first of all  - despite protective and time-wasting declarations - there is not a snowball in hell's chance of the international antiquities market cleaning up their own act if not coerced, and secondly, until they do there is a huge need for every single type of import restriction to help curb trafficking and smuggling of antiquities, and to help protect collectors in the market  from being active on a tainted market/

Please support the extension of the Bolivian MOU.

Brain-Rotting Alert: "No Collector Left Behind" in Washington

Read the text
Here's a tip for blonde bloggers of the US art trade. The US "implements" an International Convention created by an organization (UNESCO) to which they currently do not contribute financially. My tip to blondie bloggers is that before they try to dictate how other states party (who do pay their UNESCO subs) conduct affairs in their own country, she actually reads the Convention and tries to work out what it is for, and what it is not for ('Extension of the MOU between the US and Greece'). That way the dealers and collectors she claims to represent may avoid ending up looking utterly brainless and unable to focus attention on an issue.

So, more uncomprehending knee-jerk anti-MOU nonsense from collecting jerks willingly (mis)led by these lobbyists is in the offing. Duh.

Responsible Hoard Finder, There Are Some

Can you imagine this? Forester Bogusław Szwichtenberg found two pots with medieval silver coins in them last year and they were worth half a million, he handed them over (as the law requires) and was given a treasure reward, fifty thousand and the thanks of the Minister of Culture for his responsible behaviour in not taking the objects to a dealer, but handing them over to a museum. Of course this was not in the UK where Treasure hunters would not dream of accepting anything less than their market value - for otherwise they'd have no problems flogging the stuff off.  But the Polish leiter of the newly-formed "European Council for Metal Detecting" wants to bring British attitudes to the heritage to enrichen the honest detector users of Poland. I'll not wish them luck ('Znaleźli prawdziwe skarby, ale oddali je państwu' [in Polish]).

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Aerial Photos of Palmyra

 Claire Voon, 'Aerial Photos of Palmyra Show Extent of Damage Done by ISIS', Hyper allergic May 4, 2016 The phrase "looters' holes" does not occur anywhere. Umm. the statues in the museum that were thrown down never (in the museum that is) had heads, the first people in were the Polish mission who'd reconstructed them, funny that's another thing that does not get a mention here.

Spot the difference

Mały Brat patrzy
This is yesterday's demonstration in Gdańsk, Poland against the anti-constitutional moves by the current ruling party: in the town where Lech Wałęsa fought the communists, the march started under the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers. The motto of this march was "No to the Breaking of the Constitution!" Participants in the so-called "Marsz Wkurzonych [March of pissed-off]" thus celebrated the 225th anniversary of the Constitution of May 3rd, and at the same time protested the violation of the Constitution by the current ruling party. 

 that's from the independent media...

This is how state-controlled TV censored the news.

This is a bit like the way British archaeologists present metal detecting, no big problem at all, everything fine with the "partnership". The problem is that the picture at the top is the real one, the other three are a manipulated illusion and the Polish public is getting fed up with the lies of the state media (which have lost over three quarters of a million viewers in the past few weeks). The day after tomorrow we plan another massive march ("The Big Blue March"). This looks like it is going to end badly for the nationalist government in the long run - and what about British archaeologists?

The End...

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Press Freedom Day Today, but not if you're reading the UK the Archaeological Press

Unless of course you ask British archaeologists about artefact hunting... most prefer not to talk about it. Yes, it is your right, but British archaeologists by their silence about "uncomfortable" issues deny you that right.

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