Wednesday 19 August 2015

Antiquitist Lobbyist Loses Ground in Debate

Losing ground
Tompa is getting trounced on the Linked-in discussion on Middle Eastern looted artefacts surfacing on foreign markets. Ellie Rose Elliott, referring to the story of the beheading of Khaled al-Asaad, 82,  addresses him thus:
The cost of your self-asserted 'right' to buy what you please where you please and no questions asked, is too high. For Iraq, for Syria, for the world, for civilisation. And for heroes of the struggle like Khaled al Assaad, tortured to reveal the hiding place of blood antiquities which would otherwise end up in your 'unprovenanced' marketplace [...] Decent, honest men should not have to defend their culture to the death because somebody on the other side of the world wants to buy their past [unprovenanced, of course] for his own personal satisfaction, and because he can afford to pay, in dollars, the price of other people's blood.
Well put. Tompa has met his nemesis in an archaeologist with denser phraseology than my own who goes by the name of Thaddeus Gutierrez and admits he worked for a coin dealer a few years ago. (Can Mr Tompa claim the same experience?)
I experienced the disdain for law and patrimony that only a coin dealer can muster without a qualm. It is CUSTOMARY for dealers of ancient coins to under-report and conceal shipments for no other reason that government seizure, at the expense often of the integrity of the artifact. Many coins and pots were broken in such shipments that I witnessed ENTIRELY because the acquisition itself - its potential profit - trumped stewardship of the artifact every time.

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