Friday, 22 July 2011

Portable Antiquities Society Makes Death Threats

The Portable Antiquities Society presents itself as a data-gathering organization with an overall academic programme, but like many organizations of that type prefers to keep much of its doings under cover and apparently has problems handling criticism and open discussion of its aims and methods. After threatening potential legal action, the head of this organization has now started sending "we know where you live" death threats. Not the first time, but I think this well shows the sort of people who are involved in artefact hunting under present British law in "partnership" with the British Museum. Does this kind of aggressive behaviour mean we should avoid potential conflict by not attempting to confront the issues connected with current policies on artefact hunting and collecting, or does it instead indicate that there are serious issues to be faced? Should it not be the Portable Antiquities Scheme that is facing these serious issues, instead of trying their hardest to avoid them, passively leaving it up to others?

Vignette: another death threat

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