Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Archaeosoup on Sekhemka

I should have posted this up before, it raises some more general points. Marc and Andy Brockman discuss the issues. The sale is the day after tomorrow.

The first film is a general introduction to the problem and serves as a trailer for the second: 

The second film, Selling Sekhemka: Ethics, Morals and Other Issues looks at the wider picture.

Mention of "people across Europe" and their views of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (actually getting those concerns a little wrong) and what this means for what we think of the "partnership" with artefact hunters. A "dark world of robbing, looting and selling" - what differentiates archaeology here? Points made about the relationship between sales like this and the encouraging of looting. There are legal issues here, as there were in Croydon, but heritage groups cannot raise the money for judicial review (while councils use public money to defend themselves).

The film promises more information about the campaign group, and the disgraceful treatment of a member of the Friends of Northampton Museums and Galleries (Gunilla Loe) as a result of her involvement in the campaign, but this was not expanded on. The remarkable campaign and the campaigners are worth a story in themselves. I hope it gets told, whether or not the statue gets sold on schedule to some fat cat anonymous buyer.

One thing I do not see being mentioned here in any of the discussion is that Lord Northampton is the current owner of much of the infamous Sevso Treasure (some of which has just been flogged to the Hungarians, reportedly for for €15m).

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