Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Christies Crosby Garrett Photoshoot

Digging the Dirt comments on the sale of the so-called Crosby Garrett Helmet,
And so it went. Lost to the nation. With sadness and regret, diggingthedirt would like to congratulate the Government’s loophole makers for ensuring that however the dice is rolled, the auction house always collects. Tails they win. Heads we lose.
In particular the blog comments tongue in cheek on the photos of Georgiana Aitken (Christie's Head of Antiquity Sales) ["Cultural theft never looked so good.."]:
Lustily draped around the shiny helmet, Aitken is bang on-trend in the auction’s publicity shots, rocking the look that Vogue’s September issue’s calling ‘Illicit Chic’. The Staffordshire Hoard is so last season baby. If you really want to turn heads at the antiquities meat market, anonymous international telephone bidders are the way to go. [...] As for Ms Aitken, we’ve removed you from our ‘hot list’ and hope you enjoy your new home on our ‘not list.’[...] Best of luck getting to sleep at night.
Now I think that is unfair. Obviously what happened on September 12th when the photographer, Dan Kitwood, saw this helmet thing was notice the huge area of gap-filling and green paint which would have shown up under that lighting if he'd stood closer. So he looked around for a way to take the shot from further away and Ms Aitken just happened to be walking by...

The poor lady looked quite melancholy in those publicity shots having to pose to draw the viewer's attention away from the degree of reconstruction of the shiny face of a small metal curly-haired boy on a stick.

My suspicion is beneath it all, the well-spoken Ms Aitken has the heart of a conservationist, and would far rather hug trees. I suspect also - working perforce where she does - she will not be too bothered about not being on some archaeologists' "hot list". But I will admit I too was curious about the dress.

Vignette: Georgiana Aitken and friend (original Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe)

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