Archaeo-blogger Paul Barford is quite the critic. His dislikes include metal detectorists, "coineys," "dealers," the Portable Antiquities Scheme, British archaeologists who cooperate with PAS, other archaeologists who cooperate with collectors, US museums, the US Government (excepting Customs and the State Department's Cultural Heritage Center) and pretty much anyone who disagrees with his archaeological centric views.
Mr. Barford, like some of his fellow archaeo-bloggers, is also obsessed with the provenance of objects in private and museum collections. But what do we know about Mr. Barford's own background or "provenance" if you like? CPO has touched on this issue before, but Arthur Houghton, who was wondering about this issue, suggested that CPO ask the following questions for Mr. Barford to answer. He's welcome to answer these on his own blog or on this one, or to the extent he chooses not to do so, others are welcome to provide any accurate information they may have.
1. Exactly what academic and professional credentials does Mr. Barford have to back up his claim to be an archaeologist? What scholarly works has he authored about archaeology? What digs has he participated in and has any fieldwork he has performed been published?
2. Mr. Barford has evidently lived in Poland since 1986. At that time, Communist Poland was an international pariah for its military crack-down on the Solidarity movement. Why did Mr. Barford move from the Democratic West to Communist Poland? Did he work for the Communist Government as has been reported? If so, in what position and did he make any oath to that Government? What has he been doing since the fall of Communism in 1989?
3. Mr. Barford is reported to work as a contractor for UNESCO. Does Mr. Barford derive any income from organizations or groups that seek to prohibit or limit the access of dealers, collectors and museums to cultural goods? If so, what organizations or groups and how much do they give him? In short, does Mr. Barford have an undisclosed financial interest behind his commentary?