Saturday, August 1, 2009

David Gill and Insinuation, Assertions and Factoids

Archaeological Blogger David Gill expresses a newfound concern about assumptions being turned into "facts" here:

But isn't the "Mother of All" such "factoids" in the cultural property debate the insinuation by members of the archaeological community like Prof. Gill that undocumented artifacts "must be stolen?"


Cultural Property Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cultural Property Observer said...

I see Prof. Gill does not agree with my views about the Mother of All "factoids" in the cultural property debate.

But one need look no further than the web site of the Archaeological Institute of America to find evidence that this factoid is indeed the touchstone of the archaeological community's position in the cultural property debate:

"The essential disagreement between museums, private collectors and archaeologists is whether museums and private collectors should acquire these undocumented artifacts; archaeologists believe most undocumented antiquities are the product of recent site looting and therefore museums should not acquire them....


In addition, many countries that are rich in archaeological resources have enacted national ownership laws. This means that any antiquity in the ground at the time the ownership law was enacted is the property of the nation. If such an artifact is dug up and removed from the country without permission it is stolen property, and remains so even after it is brought to the United States. Those objects should be dealt with in the same way as one would treat any other stolen property."


Of course, Professor Gill also supports the view that "looted" artifacts should be repatriated as "stolen" property under national patrimony laws. Therefore, I am uncertain why he denies that the "Mother of All" factoids in the cultural property debate exists.