Friday 26 March 2010

Antiquity collecting: "It's arrogance in its purest, simplest and most lustful form"

The State We're In, 20 March 2010 Radio Netherlands worldwide: Jonathan (who the journalist refers to annoyingly throughout as "Jonty") Tokely-Parry a convicted smuggler of "ancient art" spent three years behind bars for his role in smuggling artefacts out of Egypt. He is unrepentant, arguing that smuggling antiquities is the right thing to do if it gets them out of the hands of "corrupt, incompetent officials". Matthew Bogdanos, a US Marine Reservist has risked his life combating the illicit trade in ancient artworks and disagrees . He says that a collecting is: "arrogance in its purest, simplest and most lustful form".

See Jonathan Tokeley's, "Rescuing the Past: The Cultural Heritage Crusade", which apparently contains very much the same type of arguments as collectors' lobbyists like the ACCG.

Bogdanos speaks very powerfully, logically and passionately in the second part of the programme (after 31 minutes). His examination of the underlying premises of the indiscriminate market are convincing enough to me.

Download or listen to the whole programme here.

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