Monday, March 19, 2012

As WikiLeak Diversion Continues, Greece Faces Meltdown

The proposed Wikileak vigilante effort to reclaim lost antiquities for Greece and Italy must be considered a diversion compared to the meltdown facing Greece's cultural establishment. See

The sad thing is that archaeologists seem as out of touch as ever. They are apparently hoping that a poster campaign will stave off massive budget cuts.

What is actually needed is a dose of reality and recognition that conservation can no longer be associated with control by the bankrupt Greek state. Turkey has finally recognized that not all artifacts should be in museums; it's okay to sell duplicates. Greece should do the same.

It's also interesting to note that Jack Davis, director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, argues that collectors in the Middle East and China are the real drivers of any looting.


kyri said...

hi peter,do you agree with jack davis assessment,that it is collectors in the middle east and china that are the real drivers of the looting??.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Interesting question worth further research. I can tell you that currently the largest buyer of ancient Greek coins is a sheik from Qatar. I have also heard some wealthy Chinese collectors are getting interested in ancients. If you look back in my blog, awhile ago the Chinese mint struck a special issue for a coin convention that featured a Parthian coin.

kyri said...

hi peter,the reason i ask this question is that when i have suggested in the past that the market in antiquities contributes to the looting,i have been shot down by dave welsh and others for even to dare suggest such a thing.when it is collectors in china or the middle east the notion,[collectors are driveing the looting]if not accepted outright,is at least considered as a possibility.
if its worth anything,i would like to add that my dealer freinds tell me that they are doing great trade with chinese collectors and for some of them this accounts for %50 of their business now,so mr davis has a point.