Over on a collector's blog near you Wayne Sayles, the dealer with an arts history degree, writes (August 2016 at 15:25):
If you want to see the "so much sense' that brought so many tears to the eye of an emotional old coin dealer that he found it difficult to type, turn to the John Hooker FSA blog for his attempts to grapple with the notion of the evils of cultural heritage without reading any of the basic literature that pertain to the question ('The "cultural heritage" Group Neurosis'). It's what they call "independent research" where the adjective seems to denote that the author is free to blithely make unfounded assertions with no attempt to back them up.
As for "shutting up" critics of the self-indulgence of the dealers and collectors, Mr Hooker has already refused to publish a whole series of comments questioning his statements and lack of definition that I have posted to this essay's rather directionless series of 'instalments' (now in its tedious fourth week). I guess he found no answers in the limited range of his online reading. But engaging with what somebody else says and taking issue with what is unclear or could be seen another way (as I presume they teach even in art history courses in Wisconsin) is what we call debate Mr Sayles.
The collectors and dealers may strive to shout down, intimidate and generally discourage the closer examination of their position by people holding different views than their own. But the debate will go on. Yes, the real message is that the past does belong to all of us (it's why we call it our "heritage" Mr Hooker) but that does not give artefact hunters, dealers and collectors any entitlement to pocket it, appropriate it entirely to themselves or make private profit from it in a way which obliterates the past, and prevents others from accessing it. This is precisely because we agree that it should be being used for the benefit of all including future generations and not just to satisfy the extemporary whims of greedy individuals. And that is exactly what is happening today because of the manner in which the commerce in dugup antiquities is being carried out, manners of handling artefacts which Mr Sayles dealers' interest group the ACCG is engaged in defending, with the help of Mr Hooker.
There are those who think that is wrong and will speak out, even at the cost of being accused of "pontificating" and becoming the target of the nasty personal attacks and ridicule that for the last decade and a half have been aimed at them precisely by the collectors of and dealers in those artefacts. Fifteen years of ongoing erosion of the archaeological resource while which no progress has been made in cleaning up the market and sorting out this problem. But then, precisely that is the aim of people like Mr Sayles (MA), Mr Hooker (FSA), Mr Welsh, Mr Howland and all the rest.