Thursday, February 23, 2012

Artificial Deadlines

The archaeological leaning blogs are taking the new Getty Museum chief, Dr. Timothy Potts, to task because he was one of the AAMD principals behind adoption of the prior 10 year rolling "provenance" date for accessions. See

Yet, the recently adopted 1970 date is an artificial construct solely based on the vintage of the UNESCO Convention. The only reason the AAMD adopted it was due to pressure from the archaeological lobby.

But what has the AAMD and its members received in return? Long term loans? Not without paying the substantial costs associated with them, including transportation, insurance and restoration fees. Check Spelling

And how does this really fit with the mission of museums to preserve artifacts for future generations if they are not able to accession many artifacts just because they lack a documentary history stretching back to 1970?

And has adoption of this rule staunched looting in source countries? As Potts suggests, of course not.

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