Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time for a Change

An American archaeologist is calling for Greek authorities to consider new approaches to preserving the nation's ancient sites.  He's not suggesting that the Greeks sell duplicates and loosen up restrictions on the trade of common artifacts like ancient coins (which is limited to a few dealers "grandfathered" in under older laws), but given the depth of Greece's financial problems and the reality the Greek state cannot possibly care for everything, nothing should be off the table.


kyri said...

hi peter greek archaeologists have allready rejected the idea.

i must admit,i dont think it is the way forward.
i was in athens in october and there were antiquities for sale in plaka,in the shadow of the acropolis.genuine antiquities with export certificates.they are loosening the reins ever so slightly but it is strictly controld.everything for sale had its own number from the athens archaeological museum and when sold the dealer had to log on to the museum site straight away to register the sale and provide details of the buyer ie,name address and passport details.nothing was cheap,a small drachma worth £100 in london was selling for euro 700.

Ed Snible said...

Are there sites that you think are exceptionally well-managed that should serve as a model? I have been to ancient sites with reproduction buildings and actors in period costume. I have been to sites whose security is that the neighboring farmer has the key and you have to ask nicely for it. There should be room for all kinds of site management philosophies.

Interesting that the editorial closes with the idea that the Ministry of Culture should maintain strict control of the story of civilization. I like to see a variety of views. One of my favorite museums of American History is the Pequot Native American Museum which tells the history of America from a very different perspective than I learned in public school.

Cultural Property Observer said...

The sites around Hadrian's wall appear very well managed. The key is probably local involvement.