Museum as Archaeologist

I read the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas P. Campbell, respond in the NY Times to Bernard Frischer’s advocation of museum-funded archeology.  The director rightly toots his institution’s horn with the impressive breadth of involvement in world archeology.  The laundry list of good scientific deeds on the Met’s part however skirts the issue raised by Frischer –  how do museum’s curate “artifacts”.   Thomas Campbell  claims there is no system of partage at the Met, just scholarly work.   Providing conservation materials and training are cited as examples of the Met’s global partnerships.  So . . .  what does the Met get?  Information?  Artifact exchanges?  (yes this is a system of partage).  On this issue, Campbell leaves the sensitive issue sufficiently opaque, and expected of the big Kahuna at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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