Friday, October 8, 2010

2010.10.22

Version at BMCR home site
Response to Grossman on Green, The Logie Collection. Response to 2010.09.16
Response by Graham Zanker, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

I believe it is necessary for me to make a protest against Janet Burnett Grossman's recent review of the Catalogue of the James Logie Memorial Collection of Classical Antiquities at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, because some of the imbalances and distortions in the review demand rebuttal.

1. The review does not offer a review of the book it is supposed to be reviewing, and thereby shows scant respect for its distinguished author.

2. Instead, it concentrates almost exclusively on the question of the provenance of the pieces in the Logie Collection.

3. Nonetheless, it ignores the fact that the provenances are detailed where known.

4. In its insistence on total covering of provenance by the Catalogue, even where these details cannot be retrieved, most of the purchases having been made prior to the repatriation laws pertaining to ancient artefacts, it implies that the author has ignored the repatriation laws.

5. Moreover, in implying that the owners of the Collection by gift, the University of Canterbury, have been less than punctilious in observing the matter of provenance, the review comes close to libelling the University of Canterbury.

6. Finally, it insults the respected name of the original collector of the vast majority of the items in the Collection, Marion Steven, whose collecting-activity pre-dated the repatriation laws by some decades. Given the gravity of these issues, I am compelled to inquire why editorial judgment was not exercised in rejecting the review in question. At the very least, it is emphatically not a review.

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