Friday, 14 January 2011

Dealer: "the USA Comprises Roughly 50% of the International Market for Antiquities"

Coin dealer Dave Welsh commenting on Candice Jarman's anti-Barford blog writes of the "sinister efforts" of "the AIA and its academic allies" in collaboration with "anticollecting officials in the US State Department", pursuing "their common goal of closing down the presently licit international antiquities trade". Here we note the different meaning accorded the word 'licit' in US and UK English. We all know that taken as a whole the international antiquities trade is very far from licit. That is not the point however which caught my eye in this diatribe:
Since the USA comprises roughly 50% of the international market for antiquities, if these anticollecting activists succeed in isolating the USA from the rest of the market, there would be profound disturbances for everyone wherever they may reside.
Is that really so? Is the US market that much of a drain on the world's archaeological record? If so, shame on them, shame on them with their shammy shoddy approach to regulating the market (the CCPIA) and their pro-looting members of congress and the judiciary.

What on earth is Welsh presaging when he writes of the "profound disturbances for everyone wherever they may reside" if the USA is "isolated from the rest of the market"? That the market would collapse? Or something more sinister? Is Mr welsh implying that we should consider US participation in the no-questions-asked antiquities market as in some way America's gift to the world, preventing more sinister events occurring? The mind boggles.

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