Monday, 9 May 2016

Where’s the Corporate Responsibility for Dodgy Antiquities?

"The current antiquities trade is a murky business
consisting of the movement of licitly and illicitly obtained objects

There are a lot of important thoughts and comments here: Annis Turner, 'Where’s the corporate responsibility for blood antiquities?', OECD Insights Blog 9th May 2016.
A combination of political pressure, supply chain transparency regulations and consumer demand has caused an explosion of ethical supply chain initiatives over the last 15 years for everything from palm oil and coffee, gold and diamonds to cotton, clothing and shoes. Until very recently the antiquities market has been largely left out of these discussions. With recent accounts hitting the headlines of the systemised looting of archaeological sites and museums throughout Iraq and Syria, and the threat of the looted artifacts appearing on the art market, people are slowly starting to take notice. Then why is there still a visible lack of pressure on collectors, dealers and auction houses within this market to prove that the acquisition and sale of their antiquities is responsible as we expect for almost everything else?
Of course this is another of those texts that the antiquities trade will pretend they have never read and will persist in ignoring.When are we going to realise that they have not the slightest intention of engaging properly in the public heritage debate, and even less intention of changing even the slightest thing in the no-questions-asked way the majority of them do their "murky" business?

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