Saturday 17 August 2019

Collectors' Corner: Holiday-Maker looting in Spain?

"Stunning Bronze age tool head found in Majorca near neocropalis (sic) of the sun" Seller yorkantiquities(2280).... stunning is not a word I would use of something that looks like a green dog turd, and a decent bloke would baulk at demanding the going price of GBP 75.00 approximately US $90.98 for the dubious pleasure of owning it - especially as there is no mention of any paperwork legitimating digging it up, pocketing and then bringing it to the UK. The same seller has an (again) 'Stunning Neolithic flint tool found in Majorca near neocropalis of the sun' - actually no evidence on the photos that this weathered flint flake was a 'tool' as such. Likewise no mention of papers and legal title. There is also something (a piece of cruddy [drawn?] wire) labelled in the heading 'Lovely rare Iron age iron pin found in Majorca near neocropalis of the sun', what makes it "lovely" is not defined in the description (I use the term loosely) where inconsistently it is called a "Lovely rare Iron age simple iron clothing pin in uncleaned condition as found in Majorca near the area of BC neocropalis of the sun". Again no mention of papers. To bring the sorry series to a close is a "Super Neolithic tiny flint tool found in Majorca n/r neocropalis of the sun". No papers, not a tool as far as I can see. If you were to pay the dealer what he's asking, to buy these four items would set you back 124 quid, and the people of Majorca, what do they get? When and how did this material leave the ground, and when and how did it leave the island?

The Necròpolis de Son Real is a site protected by Spanish law and no British dealers should be profiting from the sale of artefacts recovered from the site if they have no legitimising paperwork for them. Should they? So why are they?

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