Thursday 6 June 2013

Merkelson on Vastari

After a long break in his blogging, Nicholas Merkelson (Culture in Peril) resumes with what I hope will be a new series of comments and thoughts. The first of this new spate concerns a service he'd come across which I admit I was not aware of either. It also seems to have been ignored in the forums and blogs of the lobbyists for the no-questions-asked antiquities market, who give the impression that they are less interested in finding ways to build bridges than explain why they persist in maintaining deeper divisions. Merkelson writes ("A "New" Bridge Between Collectors and Museums", Monday, June 3, 2013):
I recently discovered, an independent platform facilitating direct contact between collectors and museums. Vastari is a private networking tool that allows owners of cultural artifacts and accredited museum curators to find each other for the purpose of exhibition. Collectors can search a database of proposals tailored to objects they hold and are offering to exhibit, while curators can search according to types of objects that complete the narrative of a planned exhibition. The site is privately funded and non-partisan, meaning Vastari will not judge or exclude objects based on quality and connection. The only requisite is that collectors contribute "museum-worthy" objects, identified as being: One of a kind or limited edition; Culturally significant, or representative of the era from which it is from Possessing a concrete provenance Accompanied by an authenticity certificate by an authorized institution or mentioned in correspondence of the time Owned indisputable by you.
I guess some of those might be difficult for many collectors of dugup antiquities.

There is a second post in the new series on the blog "Rock Art Vandals Strike Again (and Again) in American Southwest" which is also of interest. No-questions-asked collecting of dugup antiquities is a form of vandalism too.

Vignette: Vastari logo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning this, Paul. Much appreciated -- especially as I'm trying to get back into this whole thing!

Please note I'm moving platforms to Wordpress. The link is now: (or just

Thank you again and be in touch,


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