Sunday, 9 January 2011

UK Detectorists' Supporter's Mixed Loyalties Over Illicit Antiquities

Candice Jarman, the supporter of UK artefact hunters against what he terms the "lies and distortions of the radical archaeologists", is adamant that the international antiquities trade is "largely licit" ("and laws to punish illicit trafficking exist already") [where have we heard all this before?]. Having stressed earlier that collectors buying from this trade are mainly interested in acquiring licit, well-provenanced antiquities, it is therefore odd to see him now attacking US antiquity dealer Dave Welsh's ideas about how the market can be supplied with more licit, well-provenanced antiquities. Candice is of the opinion that this type of scheme "has no place in a free society".

Mr Jarman's profile announces he is interested in "freedom" (capitalised). It is interesting to note the kind of freedom he promotes. After commenting on the "decline of the West" with "the balance of power and wealth now moving eastwards", Candice seeks symptoms of that in:
the treatment of Marion True, Getty Curator, and the continual repatriation of objects to Italy (whose museums and store-rooms must be over-flowing with stuff already!). Would a confident and assertive country act like this? If I was in the White House - I would have told Italy where to go - Italy needs America far more than America needs Italy surely.
(Besides the fact that I am sorely puzzled by what logic someone in the UK sees Italy as somehow "the East")... Marion True was being tried for her alleged involvement in the purchase of illicit antiquities (the antiquities were illicitly obtained, what was in question in her trial was her personal involvement and knowledge of that). The objects recently returned to Italy from US museums were not licitly exported, not a single valid export licence was produced for any of them. What Italy is now asking is for the USA to put import restrictions on (and ONLY on) antiquities illegally exported from Italy in the period covered by the CCPIA. I really cannot see why the USA (voluntarily a state party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention after all) should exert its "confidence and assertiveness" by "telling Italy where to go". What kind of talk is that from a self-proclaimed responsible collector? That's pirate talk.

More pirate talk - if the people labelled (falsely) "anti-collecting" succeed in curbing the no-questions-asked trade in illicit antiquities:
The anti's true legacy will be our cultural decline and impoverishment.
As if building collections of stolen and smuggled artefacts was in some way a symbol of cultural superiority and richness for this apostrophe-abusing British artefact collector. Candice reveals himself by this to be a collector no less the crypto-imperialist and neocolonialist than his US "Cultural Internationalist" counterparts.

So if Italy asked Britain for some freshly surfaced (from underground) recently stolen artefacts to be investigated and returned, antiquity collector Candice would expect Her Majesty's Government to exert its "confidence and assertiveness" by "telling Italy where to go"?

Vignette: is antiquity collector Candice Jarman a British bulldog lover?


Sheddy said...

Mr Barford .... so we don't see eye to eye on a few aspects of heritage but I think you're the man to have a look at this and with your contacts, you may be able to assist in getting something done about it. With luck your allies have already found it and sent it to you.

Posted up on EFID yesterday:

"Some of you will have been to Nuštar, the village where I do most of my detecting. Well they are making a new soccer field next to the park. they had scraped the surface level and i planned to go on when the freeze let up. Meanwhile, they dug the foundations for the stand and found a lot of regular dark shapes. They turned out to be graves. Instead of informing the museum or quietly bulldozing them, they told the mayor of the village who got the graveyard workers to dig them (this is of course illegal). they dug fifteen graves and cleared the goods out before I got to hear about it. I asked the workers and site officails what they had found other than bones and they said they thought the grave was from the first world war or just before. I insisted on seeing what was found and was directed to the Chapel of Rest in Nuštar cemetery. All the bones from the graves were mixed together in binbags. I asked if they hadn't informed the museum and was told the museum wasn't interested. Then I saw that they had a plastic carrier bag with some bronze objects. I was amazed to see that they were Avar culture, from the 7- 8th century. I photographed the material, then took the decision to inform the museum, or at least ask if they had heard anything.
The archie I spoke to couldn't look me in the eye of course, and I got the feeling that the museum knew, but were turning a blind eye. I handed over the photos, so now they have to move on it, but we'll see.
Here are some bits:"

The pictures can be seen at:!/album.php?aid=273880&id=545844311

Paul Barford said...

This comment is TOTALLY unrelated to the topic of the post !!!

"Simonthesearcher" says on EFID Forum: "Disgracefull,,Barford,if your reading ,nice one,lets hear what you got to say about this then"

I really do not see why its a "nice one"...I have discussed this in a separate post.

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