Sunday 24 February 2013

Heritage Action on Kosher Deals

British grassroots conservation organization Heritage Action is almost alone in plugging what the British Museum's "Portable Antiquities Scheme" do not want the public to know, that artefact hunting and collecting in the British Isles cannot in any way be seen as a localised issue, a provincial one, but as part of the whole issue of the collecting of antiquities and the supply of the antiquity market. You'll not find a word on this on the Portable Antiquities Website, hardly a peep on the CBA's. Try and find a proper bibliography of antiquity issues on either. So it is that HA fights the good fight almost alone. Here is one of their latest comments:
Kosher deals: The Cleveland Museum of Art has just hired a full-time “provenance researcher“. Seems a good idea. She can make sure they have nothing they shouldn’t. So should all museums and collectors use someone similar to make sure they don’t buy in dodgy gear? Or would it be simpler for them to just make every supplier sign a piece of paper giving the name, home address and telephone number of the person they got it from? Or if they dug it up themselves, the name, home address and telephone number of the landowner on whose land they found it, together with a letter from him saying he knows about the sale and the price being paid?
That would certainly make provenance research a lot easier.

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