Friday, 1 May 2015

Friday Retrospect: Cleveland/Leutwitz Apollo Lead Isotope Analyses

Do you remember this?
Saturday, 14 June 2014 "Leutwitz Apollo" The Solder Analyses

A few months ago I wrote a series of posts on the collecting history of the so-called Leutwitz Apollo bought by David Franklin and now in Cleveland. One of them (Tuesday, 29 October 2013, 'Analysing the Leutwitz Apollo (9): Lead Isotopes') concerned the lead isotope composition of the lead solder attaching the ancient statue to a plate of metal claimed by the Museum to be an old base. In particular, I focussed on the manner in which in the museum's publication the results of these tests were reported. I had some 'inside' information which suggests that the actual results were not at all as Cleveland's Michael Bennett was representing them, and therefore the conclusions that one could draw on their basis were diametrically the opposite of what was affirmed in the publication. I challenged Cleveland to publish the full text of the original report on these samples in the public interest and in the interests of transparency.  They never did, they are sitting on this piece of evidence. Nevertheless the scientist quoted by Cleveland, contacted by me, was very surprised to hear that his results had been used in that manner, and is currently analysing a new set of samples taken by himself. The results should be available (he said two months ago - 14th April 2014) "this summer".
Well, that was over a year ago, and since then all we seem to have heard is a deafening silence. Have we now confirmation of the results of the repeated analysis of the lead isotopes which correspond to the results from the first set in the form in which Cleveland's Michael Bennett was representing them? Or have we now results which do not confirm the unity of base and statue? It is by now one of the two - which is it?

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