Wed 2 Jan 2008
“The good news is that it is possible for the individual investor to buy antiquities â€” and for a surprisingly moderate sum. According to John Ambrose, founder and director of Fragments of Time, a Boston-area antiquities dealer, they’re within even a modest investor’s reach. “For under $10,000 a year you could acquire two to four quality objects with good provenance that you could expect would not only hold their value but increase in value over time,” he says. In the past, the increase was anywhere from 8 to 9% annually, but in recent years that figure has gone up.“
Ugh. As if that’s the whole story. Not even a hint at the larger external costs and widespread destruction that is part of this trade. The article is particularly sad given all the devastation going on now to Iraqi sites, as it opens with an account of the market value of a Mesopotamian figurine.
Time is one of the flagships of the mainstream media. But the beauty of the blogosphere, is that even a niche community like archaeology can also have a large voice and confront this kind of outrageous “reporting”. This could a good time for the now fairly large archaeological blogosphere to flex a little muscle on this important issue. This is well worth some strident commentary back to Time to let them know about what’s missing in their fawning account of the antiquities trade.