Thursday 20 August 2015

Only in America: 'The Case For Buying Antiquities To Save Them'

Gary Vikan (now of 'Vikan Consulting, LLC'), 'The Case For Buying Antiquities To Save Them' Wall Street Journal Aug. 19, 2015 ("barring all sales from dubious sources isn’t the solution")  . Donna Yates describes this as "this view is flawed in so many ways". The guy is an ex CPAC member.
In times of extraordinary risk, we should be open to dealing with bad guys to create a safe harbor for works of art. This is an act of rescue and stewardship.
I rather thought that many dealers already were open to dealing with the bad guys, the bad guys that present them with stuff for sale with no paperwork. How do the people who'll turn up with stolen or looted and smuggled stuff from the Middle East without any paperwork differ? Will they be the dealers with "666" tattooed on their foreheads -or will they look and behave any differently from the dealers and middlemen they aready do business with?
If antique statuary like that already destroyed by ISIS is spirited out of Mosul before the next wave of destruction—and then offered on the international black market—museums should not be afraid to act.
So these statues are, say, in Munich. If "[US - hooray] museums don't act" what does Mr Vikan think will happen, will Geldschnappen und Lauf ship the stuff back, through the Turkish middleman back to Mosul?If valuable statues are "spirited out" across a porous border or two, what is being "spirited in" in its place? What kind of transactions does Vikan think US museums should profit materially from - and why?
They [American - hooray - museums] should exercise the highest standards of due diligence and never do anything to assist ISIS or its affiliates.
What, like providing a market (and financial reward) for those who put money in ISIL pockets? Will giving people money for things bought from ISIL increase or decrease the possibility that they'll go back to ISIL and buy some more, and then more? In what way is one group of violent men with guns "better" than another in the American's view?

Then have a look at the utter superficiality of the comments...

and the superficiality of the US "observer" who says, without analysing it at all, that it is common sense - and insultingly labels it 'Saving Antiquities for Everyone' (after the US conservation group he despises so much because it talks sense to his IAPN paid-for utter nonsense).

1 comment:

Skyler said...

I find it comical that he uses due diligence as a way of supporting his view even though it goes against the complete opposite of it. Major fail that he was a director of a rather large museum and is praised on growing their collection through "purchases."

I love your take on the how the non-ISIS bad guys will look, lol.

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