Monday, 5 March 2018

Essex FLO Gets Stroppy, Heritage Action Get Told Off [Updated]

Heritage Action get a bollocking from a FLO, shamefully, the one that serves (I emphasize that word Ms Flynn) my area:
Update 5 March 2018 Here we had an image of a FLO smiling at a Finds Day. Well not a FLO smiling, we blanked out the FLO and left only the smile! We were told to take it down to avoid further action. We don’t think there were grounds for action or for complying but we have removed it for a quiet life. Also because it serves to illustrate something we’ve long experienced and pointed out about PAS: people who exploit archaeology for their own benefit always get broad smiles and praise. People who strive for 20 years for conservation get treated with hostility. [my emphasis PMB]
Now, personally I take the view also that the photo was there for the purpose of valid comment and is anyway already in the public domain here (note, no credits are given to the photographer on the Colchester and Ipswich Museums website, nor indeed in the records they incorporate into the PASD). I'll take down my version of the HA picture, but only if the Liaison Officer asks very nicely and not in the threatening manner in which she addressed HA. Come on, do some liaising.

And while you are at it, why not stop just looking at the pictures and actually read the text of Heritage Action's post (and mine) and let's have some substantive comment on the words and notions behind them. Up to it?

UPDATE 6th March 2018
It seems that asking nicely was not something the 'liaison' officer was prepared to do, she seems to think threatening 'escalation' and calling me 'disrespectful' and a 'thief' is the way to go. Bad habits from metal-detecting 'partners' rubbing off there. So I left her sweet smile in my original post.

Then in the afternoon of 5th March I got a demand from the Museum where she works for 200 quid to use their employee's photo - the museum is selling Sophie. Just as soon as I get the permission to put the official letter online, I will publish this correspondence - it is really something and really shows the PAS up for what it is and what it is doing. And no, I am not paying that Museum 200 quid - after all the unpaid work I put into sorting out some of the material they had acquired after the death of a local collector and publishing it for them... the very idea. But watch this space.


Andrew Agate said...

The PAS is not a service and never has been. It is a voluntary scheme.

Paul Barford said...

Yes, the PAS serves a public, the people who pay for it and have a right to expect that the staff do precisely that. Needless to say the Museum remains silent about permission to publish the letter, I'll get round it another way as I think the question of precisely what rights landowners are signing away to museums when they donate objects needs to be raised again.

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