All the hand-ringing in the archaeological blogosphere should not obscure the fact that the Saint Louis Chapter of the AIA did quite well in auctioning off its lovely, provenanced MesoAmerican pieces that were no longer thought to be essential to the Chapter's mission.
So, let's hope other AIA Chapters, and better yet source countries such as Cyprus, Egypt, Italy, Greece and Peru, look through their storerooms for similarly redundant artifacts which can be sold. Funds can then be used to help archaeological programs which otherwise would be under or even un-funded.
While this is not a new idea (the AAMD has proposed it previously), given tight budgets everywhere, it's an idea that fits the reality of our times almost everywhere.
Do archaeological societies and source countries really need row upon row of virtually identical artifacts heaped up in storerooms? Isn't it better to make some use out of them once they have been properly recorded?
Bravo St. Louis Chapter of the AIA. Hopefully, you will be trend setters.