Sunday, August 28, 2016
Where's the Beef?
Last week's Diane Rehm Radio Show segment entitled, "The Big Business in Looted Art," is getting lots of play in the archaeological blogosphere. And why not? The statement of the token "collector representative" (Gary Vikan, past Director of the Walters Art Gallery) questioning the show's premise-- that large amounts of material looted by ISIS is leaving Syria-- was ignored by the host and the other guests who are all associated with the Antiquities Coalition. And the only difficult question from the audience about the repatriation of artifacts to unstable regimes was turned into a discussion about how wonderful it was that Khmer artifacts were being repatriated to Cambodia. More evidence, if any were needed, that establishment media is not really interested in hearing from all sides in the cultural heritage debate or questioning the archaeological lobby's narrative that "collectors are the problem."