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He wouldn’t be the first to suffer from that! (Ask a succession of Culture Ministers!)

Now he’s used awkward verbal gymnastics to justify keeping the Parthenon marbles: When you move cultural heritage into a [collection], you move it out of context. Yet that displacement is also a creative act“. But surely creating a colonial narrative at the expense of the Greek one is damage not creativity?

Worse (given his position): does he think “displacement” of 12 million recordable finds from Britain’s fields without reporting them to PAS or anyone else is creative? Last week we complained MPs are underinformed about that scandal. Is Mr Fischer equally unaware else why say something so at odds with the domestic experience of his organisation?

It’s not a good look: the Head of the BM saying “the marbles will never be returned” while tens of thousands of detectorists are signalling to him “You will never be told what I’ve found.” Perhaps there’s a conversation to be had between Mr Fischer and PAS about the reality of most “displacement” in Britain?


“Displacement is good. (It’s creative, innit?)”



More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


February 2019
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