Monday 18 September 2023

torc torc

Found art is a thing. It's 100 years since Marcel Duchamp presented a signed urinal as an object suitable for an art exhibition. That's clever-clogs enough, but it gets tired when, say, Carl Andre tried [successfully] a similar thing 50 years later. I'll leave the art know-alls to counter Ruskin's crit of another work of art: “I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.”

The Blob was a couple of tales about someone being a) in the right place b) at the right time c) with their eyes truly open d) appropriately educated to see meaning in an object out of place [and time]. Tetradrachm and our own Ringstone. Because good things always - eventually - come in 3s, another found object [wonderfully R] coursed over my horizon last week. Sergio Narciandi is, in order of importance, i) the brother of my pal El Asturiano [polybloboprev] ii) a massive history buff iii) working for the municipal water company.

At the end of August, Sergio was working along a remote part of his infrastructural territory when he saw something glinting in the dirt. Strict anglophones can get the gist here. He wiggled out a fabulous golden torc from the Bronze Age. Because he knows and cares about the common heritage of Asturias, he immediately grassed himself up the the appropriate authorities who gave a little whoop, vacated their desks, piled into a car and drove asap to the spot. Between them, they soon turned up another torc (broken into six parts) and they returned with trowels, sieves and tooth-brushes to stake out and deep clean the area. Nothing beside remains.

There has been a lot of forehead slapping amazement that the discovery and its investigation was a text-book example of how things should proceed: according to law, according to good practice but not, woefully, according to precedent. Far too many people think that found heritage becomes their personal property but such people are usually too ignorant, too selfish, too avaricious to benefit. According to Spanish law treasure trove is the property of the state but the finder gets 25% of it's value. By doing the right thing, Sergio looks to be in line for a windfall of maybe €50,000. The Museo Arqueológico de Asturias is going to do all the leg work and they'll deliver a much better return than the local fence in Covadonga.

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