Saturday, September 11, 2010

Unresolved Questions: Looting Matters: Protecting the Archaeological Heritage of Greece

Archaeo-blogger David Gill has issued another one of his "PR Newswire" press releases: Looting Matters: Protecting the Archaeological Heritage of Greece.

Gill's release raises several questions. First, Gill should disclose any funding sources for his releases and any contacts he might have with the Greek government that may have influenced his decision to issue this press release.

Second, Sebastian Heath and the AIA seem to have confirmed that they will press for restrictions on any artifact of Greek manufacture because such artifacts may be found in Greek contexts. Heath suggests that such restrictions are necessary to ensure artifacts are imported legally, but how does this square with the fact that import restrictions authorize Customs to detain and seize artifacts purchased openly in legitimate markets in countries like the U.K. and Germany merely because importers cannot document the item did not come from Greece?

Will all this further archaeology or merely the nationalistic view that anything Greek, wherever in the world, belongs to Greece?

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