Saturday, 7 March 2020

Looted Objects in European Museums, the case of Romania

Ripping up Nineveh
The same is happening in Romania as in the United Kingdom (Iulian Ganciu, 'Heritage for Sale! The Role of Museums in Promoting Metal Detecting and Looting in Romania' 2018, Heritage 2018, 1(2)):

The phenomenon of metal detecting in Romania is growing rapidly, with more and more cases being registered every year. In a context where there is less money for archaeological research, museums are relying more and more on discoveries made by metal detectorists in order to enrich their collections. This situation encourages the practice, and in time could have damaging effects on the archaeological heritage of Romania. Metal detecting represents an activity that has raised lots of debate, but the authorities have not yet taken action. Thus, this study is necessary: in order to find a middle ground between metal detectorists, archaeology, and the institutions responsible for the protection of heritage. Such a middle ground could be a bridge that leads to the better preservation of archaeological heritage in Romania. This study focuses on creating a policy to protect the archaeological sites of Romania, creating awareness among local communities as well as a policy that could be applicable elsewhere in other places that are also involved in this sort of activity.
Installation of trophy in a museum
British museums are relying more and more on discoveries made by metal detectorists in order to enrich their collections at the expense of the archaeological sites and assemblages these loose artefacts are ripped from.

1 comment:

Brian Mattick said...

The phrase "to find a middle ground" is very ominous and British. Why should science and heritage and conservation seek middle ground with entirely unnecessary recreational exploitation? The Irish "middle ground" is the only one that archaeologists should be contemplating.

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