Tuesday, April 26, 2011

None of their Business?

It's odd to see Archaeo-Blogger Paul Barford and other archaeologists criticising the Governments of Singapore and Indonesia over an exhibit about a wreck that was excavated according to the laws of Indonesia. See

Barford and the others don't like the fact that a foreign government entered into a public-private partnership with a commercial salvor to excavate the site rather than fund some University to do it, but I doubt taxpayers in Indonesia are complaining.

Frankly, given the costs involved, it's doubtful that the wreck would have been professionally salvaged at all without offering a private salvor an incentive to do it. Rather, it's far more likely that local fishermen would have mined the wreck for items without recording them. Perhaps, the situation is not ideal, but the Indonesian government seems to have taken a realistic approach to to the issue.

In any case, dosn't Barford usually claim it's no business of foreigners to lecture source countries on how to manage their own cultural resources?

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