Wednesday 27 November 2013

Deaccession: Croydon Leaves Museum Association Over "Unethical Disposal"

The planned sale today of part of the 'Riesco Collection of Chinese Ceramics' is causing a bit of controversy, Geraldine Kendall, 'MA to bar Croydon from membership over unethical disposal', Museums Journal 11.11.2013:
The Museums Association (MA) is to bar Croydon Council from future membership if it proceeds with its planned sale of Chinese ceramics at Christie’s in Hong Kong on 27 November. The MA’s president David Anderson [said] “The decision by Croydon council to remove items from its museum collection and sell them at public auction is in clear breach of the Museums Association code of ethics. I urge Croydon to revisit their decision. It is not too late for them to change their mind. However, if the sale goes ahead they will be barred from membership of the Museums Association. We will also call on Arts Council England to revoke Croydon’s status as an Accredited museum”.
Collectors who urge museums to sell off "duplicate" objects to them would do well to note this case. In particular it would be interesting to see a discussion in such circles of the selling off of part of a collection assembled by a named individual and deposited as such in a museum. To what degree should a museum interfere with the content of such a collection which reflects the tastes of its original creator and the circumstances of compiling it?

Here's the Facebook page:  'Save Our China Riesco Collection'. 

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