Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Treasure Act, UK's Resources Crisis

Sarah Philp, head of programmes at the Art Fund says ('Museums must be more than repositories of Treasure' Museums Journal 114/09, p15, 01.09.2014).
The [effects] of the Treasure Act and PAS has meant that the number of Treasure acquisition cases supported by the Art Fund has increased from fewer than one grant a year before 1997 to almost 10 every year since. Finds are often acquired by a museum close to where the objects were discovered, and they might not always have the resources to make the most of them. But the Art Fund’s job is to support new acquisitions so that they can be seen and enjoyed. We designed Treasure Plus to bridge the gap between acquisition and audience, and help museums across the UK do more than act merely as an archaeological repository.[...] [It is] increasingly important to support the needs of the museums that acquire these objects, and want to do more with them [...] 
What about full publication? How many of those 900-odd Treasure cases will be fully published in a decade's time? Coin hoards with adequate photos so die link studies can be supported for example.  £500,000 was needed for just 64 projects, how much would 900 (annually) cost? Oh to be a fly on the wall here:
 We will also be hosting a symposium which, as well as featuring case studies and ideas about what to do with Treasure, will address the question of how as a sector we continue to find the support, and funding, to do it.

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