Sunday, 18 November 2012

American Looter

It is salutary to be reminded that antiquities looting is not a function of ignorance on the part of uneducated people, nor of poverty. It occurs not just in those countries that collectors love to blame for the fact that their archaeological heritage is being pillaged for sale to those same collectors, but also right here where those collectors live [...]:
The theft required extraordinary effort: Ladders, electric generators and power saws had to be driven into the remote and arid high desert site near Bishop. Thieves gouged holes in the rock and sheared off slabs that were up to 15 feet above ground and 2 feet high and wide.
Forget about Greece -- the US is too poor (or to be accurate, too cheap) to afford to police its own heritage.
I think it is not "policing" that is the problem, but the attitude of entitlement embodied in this act and any act of acquisition of looted art or artefacts.

These slabs of rock no doubt will look pretty cool, properly mounted on a dining room wall and nicely-lit. The host will regale dinner guests with small talk about primitive art, they will go home suitably impressed. I bet none of them will get up from the table and walk out to protest that they've been invited to a home containing stolen artefacts.  

Vignette: Trophy petroglyph on wall. 

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.