Thursday 20 May 2010

The Questions they DO ask

Is David Gill acting as an undisclosed agent of the Italian Cultural Bureaucracy ? Or is he just some sort of Internet cultural property vigilante?

Has Paul Barford become a member of the Dominican order, continuing the practices of the Holy Office? Even attacking decent people in their homes? Victimising innocent lobbyists?

Or is he just stark raving bonkers? Has he too overstepped the "bounds of reason" like Dr Gill? Is he just a sad guy lost in his own rhetoric which nobody should take seriously? A "Mentally Fixated ideologue" like President Obama?

Or is he a base and unprincipled "liar" as recently "reported" on Museum Security Network? Or a "thief" as reported on Yahoo's Ancient Antiquities Forum ? Or both a liar and a thief as was essayed on Moneta-L?

Or is he perhaps an anti-semite intent on wiping out the Jews, or necrophiliac trying to return things to "people who have been dust for centuries"? A frustrated former debating club captain? An extremist? Or a "classic Marxist agitator"? Or a goose-stepping Nazi whose literary efforts "seem to approach [the merits ] of "Mein Kampf" - one of the all time bestsellers" whose idea of fun would be "immolating" things "to the stirring strains of the Königgrätzer Marsch".

The answers to these and other questions set by the no-questions-asked collecting brigade can be found on the pages of our blogs. You will also find here the questions which the collectors of ancient dugups and the people that sell them to them no-questions-asked are not willing to ask themselves, let alone seek an answer to. This might go some way to explaining why they carry on in this way, why three dealers' so-called "ancient coin" blogs these days contain nothing at all about ancient coins but merely a continuous series of personal attacks on those they persist in labelling "radical" "anti-collecting" "ideologues", those who question what is going on behind the secretive facade of the no-questions-asked collecting of portable antiquities and are urging more responsible attitudes within portable antiquities collecting and more effective policies encouraging responsible attitudes and resource sustainability. The reader might ask themselves the position from which such concepts might appear "radical" and disturbing.

Vignette: David Gill arriving at work on the forecourt of the Department of History and Classics in his trademark black helicopter.

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