Sunday 20 November 2011

The "British Disease" Comes to Washington


Heritage Action discusses a video of the Staffordshire Hoard Exhibition in the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C., it is being accompanied by a story in the November issue of National Geographic magazine.

Sadly instead of emphasising only the archaeological aspects of the find, it is placed firmly in the context of artefact collecting by the Museum's decision to accompany the exhibit with a “dig pit” where the museum visitor can search for treasure with a detector themselves. It would be interesting to know if this initiative was supported by a US metal detector supplier or Ancient Coins for Education.

Heritage Action has raised the pertinent question of the degree to which Britain's largest archaeological outreach Scheme, the PAS - to whom the find was first reported - has been involved in developing the best manner in which this material is presented to the overseas audience, for whom the complex issues of the aberrant British "heritage protection" legislation and consequent pseudo-mitigation measures are as much a mystery as they are to US coineys. The opportunity could have been taken to open here (like the Smithsonian down the road say they will do with the Beilitung shipwreck exhibit) a dialogue about collecting and artefact hunting. To what degree was this seized?

Anyway, Washington lobbyist Peter Tompa can perhaps take a few hours from his campaigning for continued no-questions-asked free trade in illegally exported coins to pop along to the exhibition and at last find out how a metal detector works. We look forward to his excited report.

Vignette: Victoria Pollard, . "well, its legil innit?"


Anonymous said...

To the point!

And when Vicky sees the exhibition she might answer: "yeah but yes but no but yes but no but yes but no."

Paul Barford said...

So basically a level of articulacy only marginally different from that on many a UK metal detecting discussion list or forum? Metal detecting probably damages the brain of all who come into contact with it.

Anonymous said...

Let's do a "Little US" Coineyland show with clips from Wisconsin Numismatic Academy, the DC adventures of an over-coineyed Peter Tomparoli, and from secret office talks with the imaginary Jimmy Cunoino and his new friends at the West-Coast. Of course with subtitles in Bulgarian and Armenian, please.

Coinpeter says NO.

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