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Friday, 9 September 2011

Back to Swansea - But still thinking of Poznan

This was my favourite object in the Poznan Museum, Bes-Harpocrates, an androgynous Bes with sidelock of youth. I was told that there is one other similar elsewhere but I'm afraid I didn't note its location.

Back in Swansea now, but still digesting the events of the past week. As always CIPEG was wonderful- I recommend it to all who are interested in Egyptology collections. The Poznan Museum was wonderful, the people, both conference attendees and Poznan people were friendly, and lots to entertain and educate.

There was more discussion of ethics and collecting. Difficult to summarise but one of the things that struck me was how most of our collections contain great quantities of unprovenanced but legally obtained material. Keith Amery gave a brilliant summary of the UK antiquities law. I didn't know that artefacts were being sold from the Cairo Museum as late as 1983. Keith explained that it was important to publish private collections. Tom Hardwick, on a related theme presented fascinating new insights into the 'Bolton Princess' and the conduct of the auction house, Christies. There was also much discussion of how the antiquities market is now effectively closed to museums (very few objects and most unaffordable) and that therefore we should be concentrating on loans. Emily Teeter explored the problems caused by private individuals suing other states with the bizarre consequence that museum collections were threatened with seizure by governments.

Traveled back from the UK on Tuesday and went to Jac Janssen's funeral. What a great man, certainly a life well lived. Then a quick visit to meet up with Margaret Serpico and Stephen Quirk at the Petrie regarding ACCES issues. ACCES is the museum curators' subject specialist network for Egypt and the Sudan. Thanks to Campbell Price it even has its own Facebook site and web page, both very much worth visiting.

So, now back in Swansea, lots to catch up on.

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