Friday, January 28, 2011

Barford the Ignoramus

In the ongoing debate between "cultural property retentionism" and antiquities collecting Paul Barford has often taken provocative stances which demanded exposition of his social views regarding private collecting.

I have previously clarified my views regarding Mr. Barford's opinions as an archaeologist. The purpose of this post is to expose the limitations of his q.v. expertise.

Mr. Barford pretends in excruciatingly voluminous yet utterly misleading online utterances to an understanding of issues regarding private collecting of antiquities, which is neither accurate, nor ever likely to result in anything resembling an enduring settlement of fundamental issues.

Mr, Barford is instead an agent provocateur. He has nothing to offer which might tend to any resolution of issues, but instead seeks to perpetuate and expand upon divisions between collectors and archaeologists -- to the detriment and ultimately the ruination of both.

The true way forward for archaeology and collecting is cooperation. The UK has devised means to implement that in the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Act, however Mr. Barford has chosen to address his objections to this generally compulsively preservationist approach in terms which distill down to "he who is not with me is against me." As that view evidently includes most of the European world, prospects for Mr. Barford being able to pursue his provocative interests in exploring the early origins of European Slavic cultures seem dim.

Dave Welsh
Unidroit-L Listowner


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