Friday 7 May 2010

New UK Government and the "Inclusive" Partnership with Collectors

So the results of the General Election in the UK were not as decisive as predicted, but shady Labour is out. We may ask whether changing social attitudes reflected in the change and new people in power will eventually result in an alteration in the official approach to artefact hunting and collecting, if not Britain's shameful place in the trade in illictly obtained archaeological collectables.

In particular one might wonder whether the support of metal detecting in the name of touchy-feely New Labour "inclusiveness" might be due for an overhaul. It was wholly under a Blair government that was set up and fostered the "partnership" between the archaeological establishment and the large number of metal-detector-owning social Cs and Ds who had been "challenged by formal education" as Minister Lammy put it and were busy wilfully extracting handfulls of archaeological artefacts from the archaeological record. Perhaps the new governing elite will see less of a need to "include" these people in the way the state handles the heritage.

Dealing with artefact hunting in this way is costing a fortune and doing nothing to protect the archaeological heritage from being exploited as a source of collectables. Apart from producing a damagingly superficial public perception of what archaeology is all about, the British PAS is also being held up by collectors' lobby groups worldwide as an example to undermine means established to protect the archaeological record. Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam.

No comments:

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