Research and analysis: there is no substitute

SAFECORNERAnnouncement, Commentary2 Comments

The announcement of Glasgow University’s new team to study the illegal trade in antiquities is welcome news to those who seek the truth about these issues—fact-based truths. The recent years have seen much discussion of these increasingly popular topics, encouraged by the ease of a few keystrokes on the computer. Opinion—whether based on knowledge or not—is too all often disguised as truth simply on the basis of being expressed.

Given our mission to raise public awareness, SAFE has the responsibility to deliver messages that are accurate, and fact based. We therefore applaud this commitment to research, study, analysis, and look forward to the work of Dr. Simon Mackenzie, who heads up the four-year Glasgow project.

We congratulate Neil Brodie, our 2008 Beacon Award Winner, who pioneered academic research in these topics with Professor Colin Renfrew (2009 SAFE Beacon Award Winner) at the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre for his continued efforts. The £1m grant from the European Research Council is a long-awaited gift to us all.

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2 Comments on “Research and analysis: there is no substitute”

  1. Cultural Property Observer

    Research an analysis is all well and good, but legitimate questions can be raised whether this is money well spent given the great needs in places like Greece.

    Additionally, for this research to have any credibility at all it needs to be approached without any preconceived notions and without an axe to grind. Unfortunately, the advance publicity for this study as well as the past associations of the researchers suggests that this study may not be very useful in the end except to reinforce preconceived notions.

  2. Nathan Elkins

    It is a well established fact that looting is erosive to historical study and that products of plunder do indeed appear on the international market. It is unnecessary to enumerate the scores of books, articles, and popular news stories on the subject.

    The financial support for this study should allow these accomplished researchers the ability to quantify the scale of the market and examine supply mechanisms. Hopefully, the fruits of their study will lead to some proactive solutions to the global problem.

    Thank you, SAFECORNER, for posting.

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