Friday, 23 November 2012

The Save Sekhemka Action Group Needs Your Input

Readers may remember the plans of Conservative-run Northampton Council's Cultural Philistinism Committee to delight private collectors by flogging off an item from the museum's collection to raise cash  ('Action Group Set up Opposing Northampton Ancient Egyptian Statue Sale', PACHI Blog, 3 November 2012)

The "Save Sekhemka Action Group"  wants the statue to remain as part of the town's contribution to the stewardship of the world's cultural heritage.

Here's their website:
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There is now a "what the public thinks" survey on the website, which closes in a few days. I am sure the organizers would be very happy if some more people filled it in. The questions are not easy to answer (and I'd have added a few more), but it takes about five minutes, with reading two bits of supporting material; just right for a coffee-break.

My position is that, should the piece be deaccessioned because unwanted, to fulfil its stewardship role, Northampton either needs to find it a better home (whether by gift or loan) in a public collection where it is more suitable, or it should jolly well be sent back to Egypt with a nice thank-you note for letting them look after it for so long. It was donated to the Museum, by a donor who intended that it should stay there in perpetuity. It's only dodgy dealers and mafia bosses that seek to raise cash by flogging off other people's art works against their will.

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