Monday 21 May 2012

"Heritage Auctions" gets Bad Press in Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of the havens of collectors, on this "people's encyclopaedia" they give metal detecting fulsome praise, and any indications that there are other 'issues' gets edited out. Any text on an ancient civilization will attract some nerd who posts a photo of a Coin of that civilization/ruler (usually 'one I just happened to have hanging around at home') and perhaps a chunk of text on the Coins issued by that civilization or ruler. So it's nice to see "Heritage Auctions" getting some deserved flak there in the current article:
A 75%complete Tarbosaurus illegally exported from Mongolia was sold for $1,052,500[27] alongside other possibly looted artifacts[28] despite protests from the Mongolian government[29], an online petition[30] against the sale, proof from paleontologists[31] that it was stolen, and in violation of a court order.[32][33] In trying to avert negative press, Heritage Auctions at once claimed to both have undisclosed proof of its provenance being legal and to have no way of knowing its provenance, only a week after making public statements in British media[34] showing it to be illegally exported from Mongolia by a private collector.[35][36]
By the way, considering the discussion going on elsewhere 9on the use of looted artefacts for "research") it is worth looking at the other notable auctions listed there and considering whether the items mentioned there were bought as trophies (for 'bragging rights') or study material and consider in what way coin collecting (really) is different from collecting old comics or props used in cult films and TV shows. Also of course whether "Heritage Auctions" would treat the legal and ethical background to the sale of a two-thousand year old dugup coin from a foreign land any differently from a 65-million year hunk of dugup fossil bone dug up outside the US.


Bunsy & Bailey said...

Would love to see your info reposted on wikipedia as Heritage has had it removed.

Paul Barford said...

You can go to the Wikipedia "history" page
to see what was added, edited and removed.

PS it is not "my" information. It's what I found there on the day I wrote my post and looked at that page.

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