Friday, 8 October 2010

Another Crosby Garrett Discrepancy

Take a look at the comments to the previous Heritage Action post on the helmet everybody is talking about. Down near the bottom we see a clear example of the "I'm somebody, I know a celebrity" phenomenon. A "Margaret" writes: 07/10/2010 at 20:08
The people who made this find also ‘metal detect’ on our land – our agreement with them is also 50/50 – it is a verbal agreement, nothing is in writing. Our word is our bond as is theirs!!!!
"people", "with them" and "theirs" are all plural. The official story propagated by Christie's and the PAS (Roger Bland writing here for example) has consistently been that there was a single finder. "Margaret", whoever she is, says differently. She says she knows these people well enough to only have a verbal agreement about them coming onto her property and taking away artefacts.

So is the single person that Christie's dealt with and the single person who showed the FLO the place where he (the single person) says he found the helmet in fact a front for what in reality (according to information from "Margaret") a group of finders? What is going on, what does "Margaret" know that we are not being told? Or is "Margaret" lying? Is "Margaret" a real person?

There is more: on being asked eagerly by a curious reader "Gosh! Have they found anything valuable?", "Margaret" proudly replies
"Pat – indeed they have. My point is that there are still people who give their word and keep it without the need for written contract".
Give their word and find valuable things. These would be things they then reported to the PAS or things they did not report to the PAS? We recall that Roger Bland says that the single finder he is aware of "has not previously shown items to the Scheme". So this person finds (or people find) valuable things on Margaret's land, and then find valuable things on some farmer's grassy fields in Crosby Garrett?

UPDATE: For anyone who thought "Margaret" may have had a slip of the tongue, she has just confirmed on Heritage Action's blog:
Paul, I had no idea my comment would provoke such reaction. I did not err in my choice of plural noun. The whole story will be told someday – soon I hope.
No idea that revealing the official story of a Single Finder was false would "provoke such a reaction"? That seems incredibly naive. Well, personally I think the full story really OUGHT to be revealed because if part of it is indeed as "Margaret" suggests a lie, then how much of it is true? If the PAS were taken to what he said was the site of "his" find by an Anonymous Single Finder, but the object had in fact been discovered somewhere by the GROUP of finders who "Margaret" knows, then if everybody is being misled, what guarantee is there that the correct findspot was shown?

Does the PAS know that there is somebody who claims claim to know about the real circumstances of this discovery who firmly asserts that the Single Finder whose name they are not revealing was not the only person involved? If after all their local liaison they do not know this, why not. And if they do know this, how long have they known this? What is their answer to "Margaret"?

Let us have some transparency here, either this whole business is above-board and legitimate and there is no reason why we cannot know, or its not and we have a right to know why there is all this cloak-and-dagger behind the scenes secrecy about who, when, how and where. Whose "partners" are the PAS - the let-no-questions-be-asked antiquity peddlars, or are they professionals doing proper archaeological outreach to the wider public? (The answer to that question can be arrived at by asking, who PAYS for the PAS and WHY?)


David Gill said...

And see the PRINT version of today's Indie quoted on Looting Matters.

Paul Barford said...

Thanks David, it seems we were writing these posts at the same time independently and coming to similar conclusions. Nice one.

[As a point of accuracy it was not Richard Hunter senior that said an object determined by the inquest to have been found in "Thirsk", it was the guy he was in dispute with. In a earlier post here however I point out that Hunter bringing in the PAS was a key element in establishing "finders' rights" to this object and have raised the question whether bringing in the PAS when this object was ALRERADY down in London at Christie's could not be seen as having the same function. I have not been able to discover how this Catterick matter was finally resolved].

But thanks for raising these issues.

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