Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Inside Job: UK Museum, "Robbed by Archaeologists"?

Worcester Museum,
is this where Mr Lenton
says he worked?
Metal detectorist Mark Lenton from Worcestershire (Kidderminster and Worcester) writes
I worked in a museum many years ago, and many of the coins and artefacts were nicked by the archaeologists – some sold Gold Roman coins and rare Saxon items to pay for holiday spending money, and they tried to blame security. At least detector users are honest and actually record items
No mention of a museum here. Would that be the Worcester City Museums or the Worcestershire County Museum that's allegedly had gold coins nicked by Worcestershire  archaeologists? Is there any record that Mr Lenton was employed in either? This would not be the same Mark Lenton mentioned here, would it? Is that brooch recorded by PAS now? I assume Mr Lenton, instead of covering up the crime of which he claims to have inside knowledge, reported it to the police. What happened? Or is this another collectors' attempted "Two-Wrongs-Make-a-Right" argument?

Which UK dealers were willing to buy stolen goods without doing their due diligence to ascertain that the sellers had legal title to the goods? Surely, cases like this show that we need a UK mechanism akin to the database proposed by the ADCAEA  which would allow the passage of these items through the market to be followed so stolen goods can be returned to the victim institution.

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