The latest Barford blog bite
The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects
[Not repeating a laudatory review of the book with this title]
"I would very much like to hear from one of those US "cultural property internationalists" his or her version of how this differs from the use of objects to construct a national story in those nations they label contemptuously and xenophobically "cultural property nationalists".
As for those who they equally unjustly label "cultural property retentionists", what if all those hats, jackets, shoes and other historical clobber had been bought by oversees collectors and these "parts of the national memory" were sitting scattered in various museums and private collections between Peking and Kuala Lumpur, and collectors over there were loudly proclaiming their "rights" and intention to take more and more?"
This latest venomous screed was forwarded to this observer (who no longer reads the PACHI blog) as an example of bilious, blathering Barfy's virulent anti-Americanism.
It is that of course, but it also reveals his implacable (and irrational) enmity toward all collectors of old things everywhere, perhaps even including those who do not collect antiquities but instead are interested in "hats, jackets, shoes and other historical clobber."
Mr. Barford does not mention his own collecting activities -- antique Japanese prints. See
for details of this particular bit of hypocrisy.
So far as his artfully posed concluding question is concerned, it really isn't worth answering. This is merely yet another "Barford blog bite" with no content of any real substance, and the increasing prevalence of such blatantly anti-collecting and anti-detecting propaganda in his PACHI blog explains why this observer no longer considers it to be worth reading.
It is however appropriate to observe that there is all the difference in the world between those things cited in "The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects" and "dugup artifacts ripped from the ground," which radical archaeologists cite as evidence that looters are "destroying the archaeological record," thereby justifying their campaign to limit and ultimately prohibit private collecting of all ancient artifacts, including coins.