Sunday, 7 November 2010

Are there any Moderates?

Last night I commented on the implications of a Californian coin dealer's gloating over the collapse of a Roman building at Pompeii, and asked whether any members of the Tim Haines' Yahoo "responsible collectors" discussion group would protest against such an interpretation. Well, as far as I can see the Welsh-supporting group owner has no protest to make. Some of his members do though.
Dave, why do you have to put a political slant on every misshap that befalls "source countrys? Last time it was "the Cypriot commies"now its the Italians not being able to "take proper care" of its cultural heritage. The Italians, Greeks and the Egyptians are all very proud of their cultural heritage and are all more than capable of taking proper care, have you seen the new Acropolis museum in Athens or the refurbishments of the Coliseum in Rome, money is being spent and just because times are hard at the moment [all due to the greed of your compatriots in the form of the subprime market in the US, which has screwed all of us] I am a collector and have said many times that I defend anyone's right to collect as ethically as possible, but believe me you don't do yourself any favours by coming out with nonsense like this.
Well said, that man! This was followed by another comment by a person who felt his intelligence was being insulted by the manipulative phrases the ACCG officer used and added:
My real sorrow, as a collector, is to see yet another example of a debate being conducted at the extremes. I'm absolutely fed up with being told that we have to choose between the status quo or no collecting at all. Who represents the views of the moderates? People who don't believe the extremist myth that there are only these two options. People who enjoy collecting but want to do so as ethically as possible? People who occupy the middle ground. Who represents us?
The first contributor agreed:
as usual another intelligent post , and I agree with you 100%. There seems to be two extremes to this debate and no middle ground for collectors like us who try to collect the right way.
Then collector David Knell concurred with the other two and added
"Nice to see that this Welsh nonsense does not go unchallenged by those of us who can think".
Well that is it isn't it? The ACCG and similar naysayers are counting entirely on the collector not being able to think and question for themselves. Once one starts noting the little verbal tricks utilised to mislead and create alarm and checking them against the real facts of the case, the whole edifice starts to topple - rather like some of the buildings on the You Tube videos I was discussing last night. Sadly very few collectors have the mental stamina to work their way through the contortion of deceits with which the way to an understanding has been strewn by the ACCG lobbyists like Dave Welsh. The emergence of collectors who can determine between a "right way" to collect, and a "wrong way to collect" is of course what no-questions-asking dealers in dugup antiquities want to avoid at all costs. This is the origin of all the verbal gymnastics to fog the issues, all the aggressive attacks on organizations and individuals advocating responsible collecting (with the exception of the UK's PAS - think that one out).

Its nice to see that a handful of portable antiquity collectors can actually see where these self-appointed leaders of the hobby are leading the rest by the nose, and are able to understand the wider issues. It is a shame there are not more of them. It is interesting to note that all three of these collectors mentioned above live in England.

1 comment:

Damien Huffer said...

I agree that the number of thinking collectors can probably be counted on one hand, especially as regarding collectors of artifacts from those parts of the world/time periods that don't have an active fakes industry or numerous small pre-1976 private or Ex-museum collections just "waiting" to be circulated. For Southeast Asian prehistory, while high priced fakes are occasionally sold, in my experience the market is still flooded with recent real dug-ups...and willing buyers.

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