Monday, 17 March 2014

Homer Simpson Stupidity from Antiquitist Black Hat Guys

David Knell has yet another cogent remark on the international market for dugup antiquities ('D'oh, how do you solve the problem of undocumented artefacts?', Monday, 17 March 2014) Knell had previously been one of those in collecting circles who'd been talking for literally years about the importance of keeping proper records of antiquities. He even came up with a very viable proposal of a scheme (International Antiquities Registry) to make it easy way back in 2009. It is interesting to see that the Pearlstein White Paper to be discussed next month also proposes such a register. Meanwhile down among the black-hat guys: 
Peter Tompa, a lawyer lobbying on behalf of American coin dealers, bewails that proposed emergency restrictions on importing Egyptian antiquities into the United States may encourage US Customs "to seize undocumented Egyptian artifacts". He then plaintively asks: "But what will the trade and the many collectors of ancient Egyptian artifacts do about it?" D'oh! Er ... how about simply documenting them? Then ... er ... they wouldn't be "UNdocumented" would they?
D'oh! He points out that three years after the massive looting of material in the current civil unrest in Egypt, which began in January 2011, it is a little too late for the "trade and the many collectors" to suddenly wake up and take action and start collating documentation of licit origins, they should have got their act together a bit sooner.

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