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Re: Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian

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  • Susan
    Well said; I agree with Francisco. Susan ... discovery, but rather the destructive, unscientific and secretive way in which they conduct the recovery of
    Message 1 of 7 , May 3, 2011
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      Well said; I agree with Francisco. Susan


      --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Francisco J.
      Gonzalez" <guajataca01@...> wrote:
      >
      > The issue is NOT that salvage operators should not profit form the
      discovery, but rather the destructive, unscientific and secretive
      way in which they conduct the recovery of artifacts. Mel Fisher
      strip-mined the Spanish galleons he found, destroying the site as
      he was interested only on the gold and silver. A careful archaeological
      dig, recording and preserving all the artifacts, would had taken time
      and the presence of dedicated, knowledgeable scientist instead of a
      bunch of hooligans in scuba gear.
      > Â
      > Every time a wreck is plundered, we loose precious information
      forever, information far more valuable than any gold or silver.
      >
      > --- On Tue, 5/3/11, charles bruns charbruns@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: charles bruns charbruns@...
      > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics
      Issues for Smithsonian
      > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 12:41 AM
      >
      >
      > Â
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Let's hear it for Mel Fisher (sp),
      a man who gave all for a dream. "Maybe today."
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- On Mon, 5/2/11, Mark Bennett mlbennett@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: Mark Bennett mlbennett@...
      > Subject: Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Treasures Pose Ethics
      Issues for Smithsonian
      > To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Monday, May 2, 2011, 7:09 PM
      >
      >
      > Â
      >
      > I agree !!!
      >
      > > Pure sour grapes.
      > >
      > > The ship would have never been discovered, let alone had its
      contents
      > > recovered, had it not been for good old fashioned capitalism.
      > > Some call it "greed"
      > > But, as we all learned long ago, "greed is good."
      > >
      > > The "purists" can wring their hands al they want, but as they well
      know
      > > it takes money to recover anything valuable.
      > > Rather then complain, they should encourage such recoveries.
      > >
      > > Do you lose "authenticity."
      > > Only in their minds.
      > > Any good "treasure hunter" knows that the value is enhanced with
      expert
      > > opinion of the recovery.
      > > They can document it better than any expedition that is "grant
      funded"
      > > just because they have the private, profit driven, funding.
      > >
      > > In the end, if it hasn't been for the "treasure hunters" the ship
      would
      > > still be on the bottom.
      > > Just a legend among a few local fisherman.
      > >
      > > --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "james m clark jr"
      > > jameyboy@ wrote:
      > >>
      > >> Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian
      > >> By KATE TAYLOR
      > >> Published: April 24, 2011
      > >>
      > >> A version of this article appeared in print on April 25, 2011, on
      page
      > >> C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Treasures Pose Ethics
      > >> Issues For Smithsonian.
      > >>
      > >> excerpts in whole or in part are from page 1 of 2:
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasur\
      e-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?_r=2&emc=eta1
      > >>
      > >>
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/arts/design/smithsonian-sunken-treasur\
      e-show-poses-ethics-questions.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&emc=eta1
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> Amid mounting calls by scientists for the Smithsonian Institution
      to
      > >> cancel a planned exhibition of Chinese artifacts salvaged from a
      > >> shipwreck, the institution will hold a meeting on Monday afternoon
      to
      > >> hear from critics.
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> The contents of the exhibition, "Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and
      > >> Monsoon Winds," were mined by a commercial treasure hunter and not
      > >> according to academic methods, a practice that many archaeologists
      > >> deplore, equating it with modern-day piracy.
      > >>
      > >> In an April 5 letter to the top official at the Smithsonian, G.
      Wayne
      > >> Clough, a group of archaeologists and anthropologists from the
      National
      > >> Academy of Sciences...
      > >>
      > >> Monday's meeting was called by Mr. Raby and Richard Kurin, the
      > >> Smithsonian's undersecretary for history, art and culture. A final
      > >> decision about whether to proceed will likely be made in late May,
      > >> according to a Smithsonian spokeswoman, Linda St. Thomas...
      > >>
      > >> The ship, which is believed to be Arab, was filled with a cargo of
      > >> ninth-century Chinese ceramics and gold and silver vessels. Its
      > >> discovery suggests that Tang China had substantial sea trade with
      the
      > >> Middle East; scholars had previously thought that the trade routes
      were
      > >> primarily over land, along the Silk Road.
      > >>
      > >> The exhibition "brings to life the tale of Sinbad sailing to China
      to
      > >> make his fortune," Mr. Raby said this year. (Mr. Raby declined to
      be
      > >> interviewed for this article, according to a spokeswoman, because
      he
      > >> wanted to keep an open mind for Monday's discussion.)
      > >>
      > >> Archaeologists, however, say that because the shipwreck was
      > >> commercially mined within a period of months, rather than the many
      > >> years that a more structured archaeological excavation would have
      > >> taken, much of the information it might have provided about the
      ship's
      > >> crew and cargo was lost...
      > >>
      > >> Although a 2001 Unesco convention outlawed the commercial trade in
      > >> underwater heritage, Indonesia has not ratified it. (Neither has
      the
      > >> United States.) Indonesia allows commercial mining of shipwrecks as
      > >> long as a company is licensed and splits its finds with the
      government.
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
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