Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is Transparency a One-Way Street?

In a series of recent lectures, Lord Renfrew and the advocacy group SAFE have made a big show of demanding greater transparency from museums about their acquisition policies. The same group -- along with associated bloggers and organizations like the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CARRI) --has also demanded greater transparency from the antiquities and coin trade. I'm not so sure that demands on private parties should be the same as those on public ones. In any case, what about more transparency within the archaeological community itself, particularly when it comes to the archaeological community's interactions with foreign governments as well as its stewardship over archaeological digs and the artifacts found within them?

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