PDA

View Full Version : Do You Consider the Collecting of Antiquities To Be An Unethical Pursuit?



The Horned God
Thursday, March 16th, 2006, 02:01 AM
An Antiquity is defined as something, such as an object or a relic, belonging to or dating from ancient times.

like for instance a Celtic bracelet or a hunk of mammoth ivory or even a piece of the True Cross or the Spear of Destiny. ;)

Anyway, is the collection of and trade in these artifacts, genuine of otherwise, an ethical or an unethical pursuit, in your opinion?

Ewergrin
Thursday, March 16th, 2006, 02:04 AM
Seems like a good idea to me. Otherwise, precious items might be lost to decay. We might as well take these items that mankind holds important and keep them safe for study.

anaktas
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 01:35 PM
They belong to a museum! :D
http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/4966/raiders86xw.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


I would probably attack you verbally and physically if you tried to take anything from the ancient Hellas era.
My answer is YES, IT IS unethical. :thumbsdow :thumbsdow

The Horned God
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 02:03 PM
In that case I won't be taking anything from the Hellas, at least not while you're around.;)


As far as them belonging to a museum, the fact is that they are not in a museum and never were. Much of what does find it's way into museum collections has been contributed one way or another by private collectors, who have rescued the objects from inadvertent or likely destruction at the hands of those who do not value them.

I am therefore of the opinion that private collectors have their place, which exists between the time objects find their way onto the open market and the time they are donated to a museum.
As an example, even the famous Elgin Marbles otherwise known as the Parthenon Sculptures which reside in the British Museum in London and which Greece now, perhaps rightly, wants the return of would likely have been destroyed if Elgin had not taken them when he did.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/parthenon/article/0,,1265897,00.html

Anyway thank you for your opinion, it is by discussion from apposing sides that we each gain a deeper understanding. :)

Ewergrin
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 02:24 PM
They belong to a museum! :D
Museums are private collections. Every piece of art that hangs in a museum is owned, covetously, by millionaire and billionaire philanthopists, who have raked the earth in search of precious artifacts to put on display. The difference between them and The Horned God, is that they charge you an entry fee to look at their stuff!


I would probably attack you verbally and physically if you tried to take anything from the ancient Hellas era.
Quit overreacting. Nobody want's any of your Greek crap anyways. :doh


My answer is YES, IT IS unethical. :thumbsdow :thumbsdow
Give us a lesson on ethics, will ya? :rolleyes:

anaktas
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 02:30 PM
Quit overreacting. Nobody want's any of your Greek crap anyways.
Barbarians...:doh What do they know? :D :P


Give us a lesson on ethics, will ya? :rolleyes:
Ma pleasure, Boss:thumbsup

anaktas
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 02:34 PM
As an example, even the famous Elgin Marbles otherwise known as the Parthenon Sculptures which reside in the British Museum in London and which Greece now, perhaps rightly, wants the return of would likely have been destroyed if Elgin had not taken them when he did.
Look, you may be right about "what would happen to them if..." but their position is certainly not in the "British-Museum-Of-Stolen-Antiquities-Because-We-do-not-Have-Something-English-to-Show".
If private collectors treat antiquities with respect (like you, I hope) then I am not opposed. I was speaking generally.

Ewergrin
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 03:07 PM
Look, you may be right about "what would happen to them if..." but their position is certainly not in the "British-Museum-Of-Stolen-Antiquities-Because-We-do-not-Have-Something-English-to-Show".
If private collectors treat antiquities with respect (like you, I hope) then I am not opposed. I was speaking generally.

What? This is the complete opposite of what you just said!
So now they don't belong in museums, but in the hands of private collectors? :doh

anaktas
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 03:27 PM
What? This is the complete opposite of what you just said!
So now they don't belong in museums, but in the hands of private collectors? :doh
Look, boss, quit attackin' me, ok?:D
I do not speak English well as you know. So, I do not know the word for "the one who uses antiquities for profit". I thought the Horned God (isn't that a Slaine comic or wot? :D ) was doing something like that. I understood I did not express myself right so I posted the above message. Am I clear?:D

The Horned God
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 03:35 PM
[B].. the Horned God (isn't that a Slaine comic or wot? :D )

Keep the like of that up and I'll be the one physically attacking you!! ;)

anaktas
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006, 03:37 PM
Keep the like of that up and I'll be the one physically attacking you!! ;)
Mind you, I am pretty strong :D

Weg
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006, 03:18 PM
Hmm yes and no. I'd not like to see all those treasures lost forever but in the other, I'm not really fond of Antiquities trade. For instance, I don't want foreigner private collectors to steal our heritage. They'd better be natives instead. Or better, I think Museums are one fo the best way to help preserving our roots.

What I do know, is that I won't ever sell some national artifacts (if I found any) to a wealthy Japenese or a Saudi or whatelse. It gets on my nerve when I see castles dismounted and send to America or Japan (it's already happen) or paintings, etc. I'd react the same way with artifacts. It equates plundering to me.


(If I were a collector, I'd not wear old bracelets or any other artifacts, as they belonged to someone else in the old time, it'd be an offence.)

Ewergrin
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006, 03:41 PM
Mind you, I am pretty strong :D
You're a kitten, I'll warrant. :D

nordicdusk
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006, 04:28 PM
Hmm yes and no. I'd not like to see all those treasures lost forever but in the other, I'm not really fond of Antiquities trade. For instance, I don't want foreigner private collectors to steal our heritage. They'd better be natives instead. Or better, I think Museums are one fo the best way to help preserving our roots.

What I do know, is that I won't ever sell some national artifacts (if I found any) to a wealthy Japenese or a Saudi or whatelse. It gets on my nerve when I see castles dismounted and send to America or Japan (it's already happen) or paintings, etc. I'd react the same way with artifacts. It equates plundering to me.


(If I were a collector, I'd not wear old bracelets or any other artifacts, as they belonged to someone else in the old time, it'd be an offence.)
You bring up some good points i totally agree with you.

anaktas
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006, 08:42 PM
You're a kitten, I'll warrant. :D
Do not provoke me :D

Gagnraad
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006, 09:08 PM
Mind you, I am pretty strong :D
Bah, I have met people that say/are strong... One punch from me and they passed out.
Strength isn't the most important thing ;)

anaktas
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006, 11:50 PM
Bah, I have met people that say/are strong... One punch from me and they passed out.
Strength isn't the most important thing ;)
I do weightlifting and I have a small hooligan experience. :D
BTW, I did not mean just physical strength...

nordicdusk
Friday, March 24th, 2006, 08:49 AM
This whole thing is getting out of hand dont ye think.

Sigrid
Friday, March 24th, 2006, 09:31 AM
The important thing about antiquities is that people get to see them and know about them and understand what they are, where they come from and who used them originally. Or in the case of bones, to whom they originally belonged, including the racial type and culture and place in the world. It all adds to knowledge and it doesn't always matter much who owns what as long as they are willing to let us all know about them and see them one way or another from time to time.

National galleries are good because they get to put these things on show to many people and they are able to maintain the relics. But I think grabbing relics from other cultures and getting the tourism value from these is now becoming a sore point with many countries. They want their stuff back, which is good in a way because it means they are becoming more conscious of who they were and as soon as people do that they become by default conscious of they are and when that happens they stand still and look stunned and start saying "hang on a minute, :wtf ".

Alkman
Friday, March 24th, 2006, 10:27 AM
Look, boss, quit attackin' me, ok?:D
I do not speak English well as you know.
I'm afraid that many times you don't make much sense in Greek either.

The Horned God
Friday, March 24th, 2006, 01:07 PM
@ Weg. I agree entirely with your last two paragraphs. Certainly dismantling a castle as you describe is an act of the grossest cultural vandalism.

Your first paragraph I can agree with as much as someone can, who likes to collect ancient things...

A Museum in general is indeed a safe and good place to preserve the artifacts which form a large part of a nations heritage, where they can be viewed by the most people.
Unless and until the museum happens to burn down of course! ;)

But aside from that admittedly rather rare occurrence, the one thing I will say is that most small-time collectors don't really compete in the same league with the museums, for the types of things Museums want to buy.

Only the fairly big private collections would contain the sorts of highly impressive objects which the museums of large cities put on display for their visitors. Most of the less eye-catching or historically less significant objects simply languish in the vaults and rarely if ever see the light of day or are available to be enjoyed by anyone.
It is these types of objects which usually form the mainstay of the ordinary Antiquities market.

Gorm the Old
Friday, March 24th, 2006, 02:07 PM
It is important that the provenance and stratigraphic position of the artifacts be preserved if possible. This rules out the activities of "pothunters" who merely excavate artifacts for sale, destroying their context and archeological value. However, if this has already been done and the artifacts are irrevocably divorced from their context, there is no harm in collecting them for their interest as curios and their artistic value. It would be best if artifacts which have been made available for purchase were to be made available by the purchaser for scientific study before being donated to a museum or, worse yet, immured indefinitely in the collector's cabinet of curios.
HOWEVER, I am sick and tired of the holier-than-thou attitude of archeologists who utterly oppose any private possession or collection of antiquities. Once they have been studied, they are of no further use to the archeologist. It is time that the public got to enjoy them. And, what is to be said of those archeologists, far from few or rare, who collect and collect but NEVER PUBLISH ? Are they any less greedy and acquisitive than the wealthy ęsthete who collects for his own enjoyment ? Then, there is also the equally holier-than-thou attitude of museums which, having discovered an artifact or an art work to be spurious, consign it to the basement storeroom. What harm would there be in displaying these things as unattributed objets d'art, to be appreciated not for historical value nor as examples of the work of a famous artist, but merely for their beauty ? Or, if the museum cannot bear to be associated with a spurious art work or artifact [nauseating hypocrisy, considering how many museums acquired them in the first place] then let them be sold for whatever they might bring as unattributed objets d'art. Granted, some wealthy collectors have entered into shady deals with pothunters and other vandalizers of antiquity. So have some museums (one in particular, which bears the same name as a brand of gasoline). This is reprehensible. Let the guilty, then, be punished, not the honest collector who buys an artifact or art work in good faith.

Northumbria
Friday, January 6th, 2012, 02:57 PM
No, there's a lot of minor objects that museums won't display. Also there's things connected to certain places which shouldn't really be put in a museum somewhere else.
I found a Nazi letter stamper (for making the wax seals I think) in my garden, I was latter told by someone that German prisoners of war had built these houses (no wonder they're built so well).
Anyway, I took it to the local museum to research it before but I kept it here for the time being, I don't want it to go next to some biased exhibit.

With more important objects I think they should go to museums, things of local or national importance.