Wednesday 23 November 2011

Light and Shadows: The Colours of A Collector's Mind....

Kenneth Blair writes on a collecting forum about the story about the Tisbury hoard discussed here on 4th November: "The article below sounds like something of a success story. This is not the first time a hoard or treasure has come to light by way of responsible UK amateurs". He then adds:
One of the problems with Barford's monotonous blogging... [is it is] eternally negative and simplistic. The situation might be seen in a broader spectrum of colours by others. For instance while there are 'night hawk' detectorists there are also those that advance the sum of human knowledge.
And as I point out on this blog - unnoticed obviously by Mr Blair intent on dismissing what is written here as merely "negative" and "simplistic" - between those two extremes of black and white is a huge grey area. One may colourise that as one likes, one could don rose tinted spectacles to look at the whole phenomenon the least demanding and less troubling way to look at the issues (they are I hear given out free by the BM in Bloomsbury). Or one can look at the issues without them which is when a few more worrying factors emerge from the shadows.

What Mr Blair seems not to notice is that the anglophone media tends to be full of the voices of those that take a wholly uncritical view of the rosy-pink picture of artefact hunting and collecting. Those are the colours in which it is presented, figures in snowy-white gowns moving against a background of warm shades of pink and gold. There is no "broader spectrum" there, it is a one-sided picture and therefore a false reflection of the more complex reality. Collectors almost certainly to a man see my presentation here as not as positive about that rosy-pink vision of collecting as they would like, they will not appreciate the attempts to get behind the simplistic one-sided and dichotomic presentation of the collecting lobby. That is because they themselves have no interest whatsoever in the complexities of the whole issue explored in any detail, it upsets the carefully constructed facade which protects their activities from the scrutiny and criticism of the real stakeholders, the wider public who it is in their interests to keep wholly in the dark.

Mr Blair, the Tisbury hoard was discussed here, the reader can make up their own mind whether they agree with what I said on the matter, or whether they prefer the 'pink' version put out on the detecting forums, coiney discussion lists and the British press.

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