Thursday, 9 October 2014

Archaeological Site Looting as Source of Funding?

where does your cash come from?

In connection with "Kimbo's Autumn Dig Social Metal Detecting Fun Collection-Driven Exploitation Weekender" (see PACHI Thursday, 9 October 2014): 
To:Camps International Ltd, Unit 10 Kingfisher Park, Headlands Business Park, Salisbury  Rd, Ringwood, BH24 3NX
"Ethical journeys without compromise"? "Learning about conservation"?
So will you accept funds coming from the commercial looting of archaeological sites?

Do you condone looting of archaeological sites in the countries you visit? Can you see any difference between looting of archaeological sites in the countries your volunteers visit, and that in the countries from which they come ?

What is the connection between Camps International and the removal of artefacts from the archaeological record for commercial purposes?

Thank you
Paul Barford (archaeologist)

UPDATE 27th October 2014
It seems two weeks is enough for a reply. Perhaps they did not get it, so I sent another one:
Dear Camps International Ltd,
I wrote to you on 9th October concerning you receiving funds from a commercial artefact hunting rally and - given your stated pro-environment stance - asking about the policies of Camps International Ltd concerning the commercial exploitation of the archaeological record in the countries where you send volunteers.
I would be grateful for a response on this important conservation issue.
thank you
Paul Barford
Let us see if that public pro-conservation stance has any substance behind it, will they profit from the commercial exploitation of the archaeological record on a sensitive site?

UPDATE The second one got a reply within hours: 
"Dear Paul
Thank you for your email and sincere apologies that your original query appears to have been missed. First and foremost, I would like to stress that we were previously unaware of this activity and we do not condone any activity that is harmful to the environment. Secondly, I would to clarify that this activity has not been used to fundraise for Camps International (via our registered charity The Camps Foundation). We deliver summer expeditions for thousands of secondary school students throughout the UK and, as part of this valuable experience, students undertake a number of fundraising activities in order to pay for their place on expedition. We issue schools and students with ethical guidelines for fundraising but, unfortunately, it is not feasible for us to be aware of every activity that is taking place. On this basis, we would be grateful to receive any information that would provide evidence that we have been linked either directly or indirectly to environmentally damaging activities. In the meantime, we are looking further into this particular case.
Thank you for your interest in Camps International.
Best wishes Hannah Hannah Davies UK Manager [...] Camps International Ltd"

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