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Athens Kopis
#16
(03-08-2016, 04:03 PM)Ioannis Wrote: I'm sorry but as a professional archaeologist, I have no time for people buying antiquities...

Ioannis, colinroberts didn't do anything illegal nor something that does not abide with the rules of this forum, so whilst I have the same view as you in the matter, I don't think he deserves a personal attack or loathe! Especially since we are people here from different backgrounds and countries, we should rather present our way of thought rather than talk only with the people we agree with. It is an honest discussion so far.
I am not a moderator of this forum, I'm just giving a friendly advice.
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#17
(03-04-2016, 01:22 PM)Urselius Wrote: Why destroyed? We are not talking about the ivory trade, here. If the motivation behind collecting is ownership, as I think it is, then confiscation would be entirely effective. I do not understand how destroying an irreplaceable object, and all the products of earlier times are definitively irreplaceable, is useful. A desecration, yes, useful, no. People caught with illegal objects should be fined the amount needed to curate the object and store or display it for 50 years.

The motivation is ownership on the part of the buyers. It's money on the part of the sellers. Both sides do irreparable damage and neither can be condoned. By confiscating objects, you're only hurting the buyers. In order to stop people from buying them in the first place, we have to ensure people stop selling them, too. 

By destroying illegal antiquities as soon as you find them, no one profits. That's the important thing, because confiscating illegal objects and putting them in a museum (or in the hands of academics or whatever) means that they remain in circulation: someone profits. And as long as someone profits, people will continue to engage in illegal digs.

Edit: In addition, I would say that, as far as I am concerned, cultural heritage does not belong in the hands of private individuals. This isn't the nineteenth century anymore. Leave cultural heritage in the care of public entities.
Josho Brouwers
Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
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#18
(03-08-2016, 06:36 PM)JoshoB Wrote: By destroying illegal antiquities as soon as you find them, no one profits.

What do you mean 'no one profits'? The looter profits. Once he has the money, he doesn't care what happens to the artefact. And it makes no difference to the purchaser if the item is confiscated or destroyed; he still loses. On the other hand, if the item is confiscated and passes to a museum or into the academic community, it still has some potential to tell us something we might not have known. If a would-be purchaser knows that the item will be confiscated and he may suffer some additional penalty, he will be less inclined to buy it. Then the trade might dry up and it would be less profitable to loot sites. I doubt whether the illegal trade will ever be eradicated but it could, at least, be diminished.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#19
(03-08-2016, 05:08 PM)Giannis K. Hoplite Wrote:
(03-08-2016, 04:03 PM)Ioannis Wrote: I'm sorry but as a professional archaeologist, I have no time for people buying antiquities...

Ioannis, colinroberts didn't do anything illegal nor something that does not abide with the rules of this forum, so whilst I have the same view as you in the matter, I don't think he deserves a personal attack or loathe! Especially since we are people here from different backgrounds and countries, we should rather present our way of thought rather than talk only with the people we agree with. It is an honest discussion so far.
I am not a moderator of this forum, I'm just giving a friendly advice.
Khaire
Giannis

I never attacked anybody...I just said that buying antiquities is wrong. People have to understand that as long as there is a demand for antiquities there will always be someone (i.e. looters, criminal organisations, etc) willing to supply.
Ioannis Georganas, PhD
Secretary and Newsletter Editor
The Society of Ancient Military Historians
http://www.ancientmilitaryhistorians.org/


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#20
(03-08-2016, 04:03 PM)Ioannis Wrote: I'm sorry but as a professional archaeologist, I have no time for people buying antiquities...


This is precisely the point, as a professional archaeologist you get to handle and investigate lots of interesting material, this is not open to other people with, perhaps, as great an interest - unless they buy antiquities. What would help greatly is if many more museums had public access to their less fragile artifacts and those they hold in multiple copies. It is a basic human trait to want to handle objects.

I wrote an article on the British cavalry swords of the Napoleonic era, it would have been a much less useful text had I not been able to handle the weapons themselves.
Martin

Fac me cocleario vomere!
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#21
(03-08-2016, 10:59 PM)Renatus Wrote:
(03-08-2016, 06:36 PM)JoshoB Wrote: By destroying illegal antiquities as soon as you find them, no one profits.

What do you mean 'no one profits'? The looter profits. Once he has the money, he doesn't care what happens to the artefact. And it makes no difference to the purchaser if the item is confiscated or destroyed; he still loses. On the other hand, if the item is confiscated and passes to a museum or into the academic community, it still has some potential to tell us something we might not have known. If a would-be purchaser knows that the item will be confiscated and he may suffer some additional penalty, he will be less inclined to buy it. Then the trade might dry up and it would be less profitable to loot sites. I doubt whether the illegal trade will ever be eradicated but it could, at least, be diminished.

Did you read the rest of the post? If you make it policy to destroy all illegally-obtained artefacts, there will be less of an incentive for looters to do their dirty work, and also more of an incentive for governments to make sure that no one loots their stuff in the first place (since it would end up destroyed). Would some looters still profit? Of course. But by implementing harsher penalties, it will make people think twice and make it harder for looters to ply their trade. The more difficult it becomes for them to sell their stuff, the likelier it is we can get rid of the practice altogether. 

Making use of illegally-obtained artefacts, for whatever supposedly noble purpose, does only one thing: perpetuate the trade in illegal antiquities. Destroy the artefacts, and it should make people think twice. That includes the looters. 

And as I said before, there's no reason for people to own antiquities privately. The basic human "need" to touch things, as someone else just posted, is available to those who want to perform serious study. You can get permission to visit a depot in a museum, you know, and get to handle the objects properly with a curator by your side. There's no need to "rescue" objects from the market. Just leave them be and watch their value plummet. That would be a far better way to help everyone out.
Josho Brouwers
Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
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#22
(03-09-2016, 09:27 AM)JoshoB Wrote: Did you read the rest of the post?

Of course I did. I agree with the sentiment but not the method.

(03-09-2016, 09:27 AM)JoshoB Wrote: If you make it policy to destroy all illegally-obtained artefacts, there will be less of an incentive for looters to do their dirty work . . . Destroy the artefacts, and it should make people think twice. That includes the looters.

This is cloud-cuckoo land. The looters don't give a toss, once they've got the money.
 
(03-08-2016, 06:36 PM)JoshoB Wrote: By confiscating objects, you're only hurting the buyers.

Precisely, and the more you hurt them, the less inclined they will be to buy. The less they buy, the less incentive there is for the looters to loot.

Destroying the item is cutting off your nose to spite your face. The looter doesn't care; he has got the money. The buyer doesn't care; he has lost anyway. The only person who cares is the academic, the very one for whom you would want to preserve the object, because he cannot make use of it to extract whatever knowledge it may still be able to provide.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#23
(03-09-2016, 12:41 PM)Renatus Wrote: Destroying the item is cutting off your nose to spite your face. The looter doesn't care; he has got the money. The buyer doesn't care; he has lost anyway. The only person who cares is the academic, the very one for whom you would want to preserve the object, because he cannot make use of it to extract whatever knowledge it may still be able to provide.

No. This excuse has been used a lot, and not just where it concerns looting ("Oh, well, yes, they did destroy ancient mummy masks. But look at the great new papyri we have now!"). If you want to send a clear message that everything that you do with ancient objects SHOULD be legal and above board, then destroying any objects that are illegal is the only way.

But I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this, and it's all moot anyway, as what I would prefer hasn't been turned into law anyway (and likely won't because of the excuse that you and others use).
Josho Brouwers
Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
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#24
(03-09-2016, 12:53 PM)JoshoB Wrote: But I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this.

Perhaps we will, although I don't think that we are that far apart. I am certainly not advocating 'buying to preserve' (the 'if I don't do it, someone else will' argument). We are both, I think, in favour of seizure without compensation plus, perhaps, an additional penalty for possession of an illegally acquired artefact. I just don't see the merit in destroying something of potential academic value, once it has been officially confiscated.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#25
Like the death penalty and murder, it is not the severity of the penalty that deters, it is the relative likelihood of being caught. If there is an overwhelmingly low likelihood that a looter, dealer in looted goods or end purchaser will be caught then people will continue doing it.
Martin

Fac me cocleario vomere!
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#26
(03-09-2016, 02:34 PM)Urselius Wrote: Like the death penalty and murder, it is not the severity of the penalty that deters, it is the relative likelihood of being caught. If there is an overwhelmingly low likelihood that a looter, dealer in looted goods or end purchaser will be caught then people will continue doing it.

That comparison doesn't work.

In the case of looted artefacts, there is a moral quandary that remains after you've arrested the perpetrators, namely: is it ethical to use objects that were acquired illegally? I would say no. Fruit of the poisonous tree and all that. By insisting that artefacts that were obtained illegally should still somehow be allowed to be studied, people will continue to think that it's okay to just rip something from the ground. 

Destroy the objects in question, and it sends off a clear signal, and should inspire governments to make sure that they keep a watchful eye on their cultural heritage. No one wants to see ancient objects get destroyed, after all.
Josho Brouwers
Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
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#27
"But I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this, and it's all moot anyway, as what I would prefer hasn't been turned into law anyway (and likely won't because of the excuse that you and others use)."

"If you want to send a clear message that everything that you do with ancient objects SHOULD be legal and above board, then destroying any objects that are illegal is the only way."

This is painful to read, that an obviously educated and caring person would have such a very strong opinion that is so obviously wrong and refuses to consider otherwise.

I can picture you smashing your way through a room of priceless recovered Greek pottery with a large hammer and a smile on your face because you have to destroy it in order to save it as that is "the only way."

Hopefully you, and anyone that thinks like you, will never have the power to decide what happens to recovered illegally obtained artifacts.
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#28
(03-09-2016, 03:05 PM)Creon01 Wrote: This is painful to read, that an obviously educated and caring person would have such a very strong opinion that is so obviously wrong and refuses to consider otherwise.

I can picture you smashing your way through a room of priceless recovered Greek pottery with a large hammer and a smile on your face because you have to destroy it in order to save it as that is "the only way."

Hopefully you, and anyone that thinks like you, will never have the power to decide what happens to recovered illegally obtained artifacts.

Well, that's helpful. I'm not exactly saying it would please me to destroy illegally-obtained objects. But thanks for putting words in my mouth anyway.
Josho Brouwers
Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
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#29
Josh, I think your "signal" assumes rather a lot about looters and governments.  And if I'm right, then I'm also going to have to disagree with you.
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#30
(03-09-2016, 04:27 PM)Dan D Wrote: Josh, I think your "signal" assumes rather a lot about looters and governments.  And if I'm right, then I'm also going to have to disagree with you.

Of course it does. That's why it'll never happen.
Josho Brouwers
Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
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