Sunday, 11 February 2018

In UK Scheme: Careless Handling of Portable Antiquities

Huge numbers of finds on the PAS database could have totally false findspots because the PAS uncritically accept what the finders tell them, and do not demand to see documentation of title, signed by the landowner when they accept items for recording. This leaves any FLO handling such material (or holding it in their office) with the responsibility of handling stolen material, and I really do not see why the PAS is so apparently oblivious to this danger.  This is especially the case when on many sides there are calls for the commerce in portable antiquities to be more transparent and accountable with documentation of provenances and collecting histories, yet the single Scheme responsible for liaising with members of the public and collectors cannot be bothered to set any kind of an example by applying it to their own handling of the material, in no way differing from that of the no-questions-asked antiquities trade.

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