Friday, 11 September 2009

No questions asked

"It's illegal. So I am not hearing this, I am not hearing this," we hear an ACORN staffer who identified herself as an accountantsay on film. "You talk too much. Don't give up no information you're not asked."
If what we see on the film is what transpired, possibly the person saying this is heading for jail, not only for a double negative but aiding and abetting a crime. I hope those trading antiquities while "not hearing" are taking note. There is nothing wrong with this analogy. The outrage caused is not so much because what was apparently being condoned in this case was illegal, the point it it was totally wrong. Just like the no-questions-asked buying and selling of antiquities which shields the illicit market.

I'd like to see film makers James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles turn their attention to the US antiquities market next.


Eftis Paraskevaides said...

This is a very extreme view Paul, and I not think your analogy is plausible for the vast majority of antiquity enthusiasts that I know and have met...

Paul Barford said...

Extreme? Dealers you know? Hmmm.

Where is the evidence here we have any pertinent questions being asked about the actual origins of the items by vendor and potential buyers?

“Old German collection” is NOT any kind of provenance for a wobbly “Roman sculpture”. “Gandharan” (I use the term loosely) sculptures with similar non-provenances. “Viking” (I use the term as loosely as the vendor) stuff “German private collection. Said to have been found in the area of the Black Sea many years ago.” Not a provenance. “Originally found in central Germany near a Bronze Age settlement, Old English collection” not a provenance.

None of these “provenances” are signified as being supported by any documentary evidence which the buyer will receive.

None of the things you actually say about the items you sell actually do establish that the item was removed from the ground and then the source country legally, do they?

What "questions" do you ask to establish these things, and what documentary evidence do you demand from those who supply them?

Shame on you.

The analogy between that and the ACORN guy saying he does not need to know the details really is a perfectly good one. In order to avoid getting mixed up in illegal activities, he actually did, and the ethical buyer of antiquities also actually does.

Paul Barford said...

Well, what a surprise, the "conservative" press in the USA was not quite telling the truth either...

Rachel Maddow tears Breitbart's ACORN tapes apart, The MSNBC host shows what James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles cut from their "investigation" into the group
The film makers can still redeem themselves by taking a look at the antiquities market - but this time they'll need to do no nifty editing to find some worrying things...

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