Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Post's View Opinion Hobby Lobby emboldens a black market that robs countries of their heritage — and lets the violent profit


Given the 'furtive means used to make the eventual purchase', it is hard to buy Hobby Lobby’s depiction of itself as a novice making 'regrettable mistakes'. The blithe willingness to buy unprovenanced artefacts emboldens a black market that robs countries of their heritage, often to the profit of those who do terrible violence writes the Editorial Board of the Washington Post ('Hobby Lobby emboldens a black market that robs countries of their heritage — and lets the violent profit', July 9th 2017).
Investigation revealed other methods aimed to avoid scrutiny: use of multiple shipping addresses for a single recipient, false identification of the country of origin and payments to seven separate personal bank accounts. Keep in mind, Deborah Lehr of the Antiquities Coalition told us, this wasn’t some layman not used to dealing with customs but a company (with revenue in the billions) that imports thousands of products for its arts and crafts businesses. subscribe   Hobby Lobby won a landmark Supreme Court case in 2014 based on its claim of running a business according to strict moral Christian principles. Some on the other side of that case may have taken a kind of satisfaction in the apparent hypocrisy. We would rather hope that fame brings heightened attention to how the black market in looted antiquities has been able to flourish because private collectors — and even storied institutions that should know better — have looked the other way in acquiring treasured items. Some may kid themselves, thinking they are saving the artifacts for future generations or creating opportunities for study by scholars. But that kind of thinking loses sight of the greater damage that is caused, including putting money in the pockets of terrorist groups like the Islamic State that are all too eager to plunder a country’s cultural identity to advance their cause. Only when collectors refuse to participate in this market will it dry up.
Note how silent the usual advocates of so-called 'collectors' [recte dealers'] rights' are over this and the rather loud reaction. I guess their usual tactic of denial is not up to the task of spinning this story in any way than the way it is - a wholly typical one of the state of the international market in dug up archaeological material as collectables as it is today - and which we want to see undergo positive change. Change however would be unprofitable for the dealers, they say. So they prefer to continue to allow groups founded on criminal behaviour and violence continue to profit with them.

2 comments:

Thomas B said...

Keep in mind these people aren't art historians they are driven by a fundamentalist Christian agenda. They mishandle and destroy artifacts that dont further their Evangelical mission

Paul Barford said...

"They mishandle and destroy artifacts that dont further their Evangelical mission"
do they? What kind of 'evangelism' would that be? The evangelism of a false truth?

 
Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.