Monday 14 February 2022

Antiquities Collectors: A Dying Breed One Day


Comments from the New York Times article about the Sadigh fake antiquities case are being cited over on an artefact collector's group page near you

"Hard to feel bad for people who step over the homeless to buy junk just because it is supposedly old. What is the allure of something you would throw away if it wasn't old?”

"Considering that folks who buy this stuff are overwhelmingly unconcerned for history and just want something pretty to brag about, I'd say this guy deserves an award.”

 "The man probably saved millions of real treasures from being looted because he satisfied the demand with fakes! He’s a genius and a protector of antiquities! He is a hero!!!”

and a bit later:Jim Catalano writes Feb 8 #96262:

From the remarks it looks like the hobby has a public relations problem. We need to do a much better job explaining to the public the allure of collecting ancient artifacts and the educational rewards involved. We desperately need to change our image as "looters" who rob history. We also need to recruit new blood (i.e. young people) into our hobby.
No, we need young people to realise that antiquities that have no paperwork because they were bought on the no-questions-asked antiquities market 1970-2022+ are the reason why it is possible to insert more and more looted items onto the market (required by the demand from that "new blood"). We need young people to walk away from this destructive business model and reject it, in the same way as they'd reject any fashion clothing using real fur in it. Today furs are worn mainly by narcissistic sociopaths, soon antiquity collecting will go the same way.

Aldo Tamburrino Feb 8 #96264 remarks:
Similar arguments not only in anti-collecting blogs. It seems to be the general perception that most people have. Few of my friends know that I collect antiquities, and none of them have seen all the artifacts I have (not many!). When I told them about my hobby, all of them thought that I was involved with a criminal band, and my dealers were some bandits smuggling precious antiquities from corrupt countries (just in case, they are educated colleagues) [...].
Hmm. For every seller or ancient artefacts he can claim actually to be educated, I think we can quite easily show another eight in the market as a whole who clearly have not the faintest idea what they are doing. Of course then he'll retort "ah, but they are no real dealer", but of course if the artefacts are real dugups, then yes they are. And well, yes, there is a lot of evidence that some of the antiquities currently on the market are put there by criminal bands, and some dealers do seem to have business contacts with middlemen supplied by bandits smuggling precious antiquities from other countries, corrupt or not. I think we'd all like to see Mr Tamburrino's artefacts and associated paperwork.

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