Friday 17 December 2010

A Yahoo take on Moral and Immoral Collecting

According to a member of Tim Haines' Yahoo Responsible collectors' "AncientArtifacts" discussion group:
"Unethical collecting" is one of the many judgmental terms radical archaeologists have invented in their effort to demonize collecting of unprovenanced artifacts. Collectors who think provenance is morally important should describe themselves as "collectors of provenanced antiquities" or some other non-judgmental term, rather than follow the lead of radical archaeologists who freely presume to pass judgment on things they don't really understand, numismatics for instance.
Numismatics may be hard for the unqualified dull of brain archaeologists to comprehend, but coin collecting really does not seem that difficult to understand. "You pays your money and you takes your choice", innit? But this linguistic helter-skelter really seems to be lacking in basic logic. If a collector thinks it is "morally important" to do something and not something else, why can he not describe it as an ethical standpoint? I am not sure why individual sees it as so important to differentiate immoral from unethical when it comes to buying round bits of dugup ancient metal (after all, I do not suppose that in this day and age, collecting Brothel tokens would be seen as "immoral" - rather than plain foolhardy as most are fake). Unethical collecting surely is collecting without ethics, such as not asking those all important questions about where the items come from and sellers' title to sell. In other words, pure and simple no-questions-asked collecting. Sadly that which should be being used as a judgemental term is today simply a statement which refers to normal everyday practice in the coiney (antiquitist) world.

1 comment:

Jee said...

Collectors who think provenance is morally important should describe themselves as "collectors of provenanced antiquities".....

Seems fair enough.

So everyone would know, Collectors of provenanced antiquities aren't the real looters!

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