On Monday and Tuesday, some 60-70 speakers and participants gathered together in the National Museum of Finland to discuss and debate issues regarding antiquities trafficking in Finland and the different responses from the museum, academic, and governmental communities. The symposium was a success and has given us much ideas for future research and collaboration… more about this later.
Our symposium also received some attention in the Finnish media, though not very much and with an emphasis on the looting and destruction of antiquities going on in Syria. See here the two news stories that have appeared:
We’re delighted to inform you that our fourth keynote speaker is confirmed. Dr. Magnus Olofsson is the Director of the Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to this, he has been also working as an advisor to the Swedish National Heritage Board.
Dr. Olofsson is a long-time ICOM Nord member and has been working on the subject of illicit trade for some time, such as lining out strategies for future work in Sweden, opening dialogue with antiquity dealers in the country, and launching a campaign to inform the public.
Dr. Olofsson’s participation in the WCOM symposium is generously funded through our partner, ICOM Finland.
You are cordially invited to “save the date” for the upcoming symposium on “Working with Cultural Objects and Manuscripts” (WCOM: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/culturalobjects/), part of a collaborative research project organized by six researchers from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki, and funded through the University of Helsinki Future Fund.
The symposium will be held Monday and Tuesday, June 5-6 at the National Museum, and will feature keynote addresses from:
– Dr. Neil Brodie, Senior Research Fellow, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford (archaeologist and researcher on illicit trade in cultural objects)
– Prof. Patty Gerstenblith, DePaul University, USA (specialist in international cultural heritage law)
– Prof. Christopher Rollston, George Washington University, USA (Northwest Semitic epigrapher and expert on forged inscriptions)
We will focus on Finland’s role in world research and trade markets, by discussing the ethics and practices of working with cultural objects through the lenses of government, museums, and academic institutions.