Saturday, 5 September 2015

Green Collection Objects "Yet to find a questionable piece"

Noah Charney has written an opinion piece on the Green Collection and Bible Museum ('Critics call it evangelical propaganda. Can the Museum of the Bible convert them?' The Washington Post, September 4th 2015). It is supposed to calm the controversy surrounding the collection and its collector - but in fact sounds more like to me that having acquired so many trophies and bragging rights, Mr Green is now a little bored with his collection.
Some scholars question the collection itself [...] last year, the museum hired [David] Trobisch, a non-evangelical, liberal European intellectual [to head its collection] [...] As for the provenance of the collection, Trobisch is attempting to satisfy critics. His first task when he arrived was to, with a team of a dozen researchers, examine the objects — their history, their authenticity and how they were acquired — a process that’s ongoing. Trobisch says he has yet to find a questionable piece. As for the Galatians fragment that appeared on eBay, he says that the piece was part of a collection at the University of Mississippi before going on sale at Christie’s in 2011. “We purchased this papyrus in 2013 from a trusted dealer,” Trobisch says. “Who owned it between 2011 and 2013, we do not know. It caught us by surprise that it was on eBay in 2012 briefly. Its provenance at the University of Mississippi satisfied our concern, as it proved that it was not recently removed from Egypt.” 
Well, there's some schematic (cardboard cutout) thinking again. This object is not documented as having been part of the Robinson collection, but could have been associated with it only very recently. Trobisch might like to look into the actual nature of that batch he's quite relieved to be able to cite. If he does not want to work it out himself, he can start here:

 PACHI Friday, 16 January 2015:
'Sappho and the Peripatetic Papyri (1) Introduction',
'Sappho and the Peripatetic Papyri (2) Pap.Robs',
Sappho and the Peripatetic Papyri (3) 2011 AnonStash at Christie's',
'Sappho and the Peripatetic Papyri (4) "The Trusted Mister X"',
I see I never managed to complete the fifth in the series.

PACHI Friday, 23 January 2015
'Sappho Pap. Obbink: Further Painting into Corners'.

I suppose the issue in finding "questionable pieces" depends very much on the question one asks.

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