Friday, 12 September 2014

The Archaeological Institute of America and AIA Antiquity Sales

In connection with the appearance of EES material on the market, the Archaeological Institute of America has issued a 'statement on recent auction activity' (September 11, 2014 ):
 The AIA has learned with the deepest concern that the AIA St. Louis Society proposes to auction certain antiquities in its possession. The St. Louis Society has a long history within the AIA, but, at the same time, is a registered non-profit independent of the national AIA. The national office of the AIA was not consulted prior to this decision and only became aware of the pending auction when an AIA member reported that the antiquities were being offered on an auction house website. We are urgently investigating this matter and are working to find a solution that conforms to our firmly expressed ethical position concerning the curation of ancient artifacts for the public good.
Surely the same principles should apply here as in the UK's Museums Association policies on deaccession. If the US archaeological organization do not want to curate these objects and can find no other public collection willing to do so where they will be available for study, then the items should be returned to Egypt as an extension of the partition agreement under which they went to the US.

UPDATE 15th Sept 2014:
See here for some earlier sales from within its own ranks not spotted by the AIA.

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