Saturday, 1 January 2011

Starting 2011 the Way they Mean to Go On

There is the most disturbing non-discussion developing on between two blogs (Cultural Property Objector and Looting Matters) about how academic discussions are organized precipitated by the stubborn refusal of a US coiney conspiracy theorist to listen to what people are telling him (more detailed comments here).

But there is a reason for this unreasonableness isn't there?
- The "coineys" (e.g., Ancient Coin Collectors' Guild) are for the so-called "internationalisation" of cultural property, i.e., basically, freeing it all for sale to US collectors by US dealers.

- In order to achieve this, they present (without detailed discussion and reference to the facts) the PAS as the "only way" for a country to "protect their heritage" and argue that the US government should refuse to co-operate (within the framework of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property) over illegally exported artefacts with countries that do not have a PAS (ie just about any coin-producing country in the world). [of course forgetting the US has no PAS]. This is the Witschonke Argument which I discussed here last year.

- Since the PAS is, they say, a "perfect system", any criticism of the Scheme has to be seen as the work of a small "radical" minority who are the convenient but invented scapegoats for a number of their problems.

- The PIA forum in which there were six independent articles discussing the PAS has to be presented ("exposed") to coineys as the dastardly work two of the worst radicals they know of (Gill and Barford) in secret collusion, working as agents of influence of unknown "foreign governments" - who are of course "nationalists" and "corrupt".

That's what this silly fracas is about. It's not about the facts, it is about creating an impression of a conspiracy of which the collector of dugup artefacts is - once again - the unwitting and guiltless victim.

[Note that I suggested that in order to facilitate the following of the exchange of views, Tompa enables the backlinks feature of his blog, a request that he has ignored. I think he is more interested in sniping than open discussion - which is why in 2011 if his opinions are discussed at all, he will find himself increasingly on the metal detectorists nonsense ghetto blog where that sort of stuff belongs].

Vignette: One of the Elders of Archaeon, a secret brotherhood, architects of the alleged conspiracy against collectors. Are David Gill and Paul Barford members? Do they meet with the others in a Prague cemetery?


1 comment:

Damien Huffer said...

I, for one, would gladly hang out in a Prague cemetery. Bioarchaeology/mortuary archaeology is my thing, after all :)

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