Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Lava-PAS: Outreach from Under a Bushel

Bushel Hiding - the new style of
archaeological 'Outreach' and transparency
My tracking software reveals that Susan Raikes spent a few moments on my blog last night, but she only looked at two posts to see what was being said about her Lava-PAS (or perhaps to see if anyone else from the BM had commented). There is still no official statement from the British Museum about what it has done to our Portable Antiquities Scheme.

I use this blog to put up my personal thoughts concerning the collecting of antiquities and what I think that means for the heritage. Ms Raikes however blocks her Twitter account where she writes "about museums, education, swimming and rhinoceroses. Not necessarily in that order...". You cannot read what the BM's head of "Learning Volunteers and Audiences" she thinks about museums and private collecting unless she invites you. She is apparently afraid of an audience. It is the same with her Scheme's Outreach Officer, Clemency Cooper blocks her Twitter account to certain parts of the Scheme's "audience" - perhaps just the bits that are not passive recipients like the metal detecting "partners" and answer back. We have seen earlier (as a result of my FOI) the extent to which the PAS go to avoid engagement in any public discussion of the heritage issues centred on themselves. That is odd in an institution which has a 'Department of [...] Audiences'. It is obviously a passive one they want to play the gatekeeper to.

That's how the staff of the BM uses social media to 'inform public opinion'. Meanwhile this blog will continue to keep its audience informed about what this observer thinks is going on - despite attempts by other players in the antiquities 'partnership' (metal detectorists, artefact smugglers, dugup dealers, their lobbyists and museum staff) to keep it as secret as possible.

UPDATE 27th June 2015
Nope, Ms Raikes keeps trying, but still can't get past the first two in the six-part series about the Lava-PAS before getting sidetracked by the posts about FOIs. She seems quite a quick reader though, skimmed through one of my texts in 26 seconds flat.

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