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Who owns our ancient past?
#1
I listened to this piece this morning! then had to pop off to Bute...

Who owns our ancient past?
What should be done with objects from antiquity, when their provenance is uncertain?

From the debate over the British Museum's Elgin Marbles, to the conviction of art dealer Giacomo Medici in 2004 for selling millions of pounds worth of stolen Italian antiquities on the international market, curators face a minefield when acquiring new objects.

Now, the director of the Art Institute in Chicago, James Cuno, has argued that we should not waste time debating what to do with objects whose origin is less than completely certain.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/new...709332.stm

on the site you get to here the interview... between Colin Renfrew and James Cuno ... hot stuff!

:face-huh:

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#2
I listened to this and it struck me that Cuno was just trying to justify his own institution's unethical stance.
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#3
I think there is a certain amount of Old World vs New World conflict going on. We have the antiquities, they have the money and the desire to acquire them.
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#4
Both thoughts that went spinning round my head...

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
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#5
A more ethical/historical approach would be that museums only retain artifacts that are pertinent to their own country.
Totally impractical and unworkable but it would be the right approach to displaying goods, surely a museums exhibits should reflect the history of their own area/country.
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#6
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Dirty Dave Lincoln

A more ethical/historical approach would be that museums only retain artifacts that are pertinent to their own country.
Totally impractical and unworkable but it would be the right approach to displaying goods, surely a museums exhibits should reflect the history of their own area/country.

I'm not saying I disagree, but there is the point of how do we get to know about other people's cultures etc. I really loved seeing the Code of Hammurabi when I last went to the Louvre (stuff the Mona Lisa, that's the REAL code!). I wouldn't have been able to see it if it was still in the Middle East and neither would most other people. Would it still even be in existence if it hadn't 'come west'?
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#7
andy... you are right... and most disagreeable it was too... got nowhere!

I find this whole debate interesting, as moral high ground sinks quicker than Atlantis.

The discussion too often hinges on a who is right and who is wrong... where in reality, there is no such clear distinction... and it can be too easy to be part of a firing squad that is unfortunately standing in a circle (if you know what I mean)

Solutions have to be workable... and too often, solutions thrown up are based on idyllic 'if only' is there another way?

"I don't have an archaeological imagination.."
Borekickers
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#8
I was talking in a hypothetical sense as opposed to the finders keepers sense:face-stir:
"its mine my precious"
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