Salon Archive

Issue: 52

Forthcoming meetings

8 May: The President�s Anniversary Address
15 May: Ballot

Fellows� news

The Society has been informed that Basil Greenhill, FSA, died on 8 April 2003, Joanna Kelley, FSA, died on 12 April 2003, aged 92, and that David Williamson, FSA, died on 21 April 2003. David Williamson�s obituary is likely to appear in the Daily Telegraph in the near future.

Basil Greenhill�s obituary, published in The Independent on 22 April 2003, described him as the third Director (from 1967 to 1983) of the National Maritime Museum (NMM), possessing a strong personal vision of what the museum should be and proving to be single-mindedly effective in achieving it. Tribute is paid to his creation of the pioneering Archaeological Research Centre at the NMM in 1974, springing out of the 1970 excavation of the Anglo-Saxon Graveney boat. New galleries on maritime archaeology and ethnography, coastal trade, emigration and merchant shipping were introduced by Greenhill in the 1970s, to broaden the concept of �maritime� beyond the museum�s existing focus on naval battles and voyages of discovery. An entire new mezzanine floor was inserted into the museum to accommodate these new galleries.

Greenhill�s innovations were later to fall victim to the financial cuts of the mid-1980s, and to the costs of maintaining the building which led Basil Greenhill�s successor as Director, Neil Cossons, FSA, to describe the NMM as �the National Museum of Scaffolding�. In retirement, Basil sat on many historical, heritage and academic bodies and established strong links between the NMM and marine archaeology departments at Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth.

Joanna Kelley�s obituary appeared in The Times on 22 April, and told of a life of two distinct halves. Before the war, she worked with her husband, Harper Kelley, in the department of prehistory at the Mus�e de l�Homme in Paris. After the war, following her separation from her husband, she threw herself into prison reform, rising to the post of Governor of Holloway Prison and later Assistant Director of Prisons with special responsibility for the women�s side of the Prison Service.

Joanna believed that nearly every woman committed to prison was in need of some medical or psychiatric treatment, and she divided the women into small community groups, bringing in psychotherapists to help disturbed prisoners - ideas that were later implemented in other prisons. Her empathy with the prisoners is demonstrated in her two books, When the Gates Shut and Who Casts the First Stone. In retirement she helped to form the Teilhard de Chardin Association, served on the Council of St George�s, Windsor, and became an �aunt� to the congregation of her local church, St James the Less, in Pimlico.

From the President

Rosemary Cramp, President of the Society of Antiquaries, has issued the following announcement concerning the retirement of the Society�s General Secretary and the search for a successor.

�Fellows will learn with regret that our General Secretary has decided that, as he will have reached the age of sixty, he will leave the Society at the end of February next year in order to take up his archaeological interests again. The pressures of administration on the last few years have left very little time for individual research, and Fellows will not begrudge him the chance to return to fieldwork and study. This is not the moment to rehearse how much the Society owes him for his work on its behalf over the twelve years he has served, but Fellows might like to note in next year's diary that there will be a farewell party for him on 19 February 2004.

More immediately the Officers will be seeking to find a new General Secretary appropriate for the challenging times ahead. We expect to advertise in May of this year, and will hope to make an appointment in late July. Dai has said that he will be very happy to talk to anyone who wishes to know more about what the post entails, and obviously the same can be said for myself or any of the Officers.

This notice is to alert any Fellows who might be interested, or who know others who might consider applying for the post, so that they can apply for the further particulars in early May, and not run the risk of missing the advertisement.�

Record visitor numbers at Kelmscott

Visitor numbers at Kelmscott soared to match the Bank Holiday temperatures this Easter following the appearance of a double-page feature on the Manor in the Daily Telegraph�s �Travel� section for 12 April 2003. Helen Webb, the Manor�s administrator, said: �We were inundated with visitors last week: 302 on Wednesday, when we would normally have had about 150, and 447 on Saturday, when our normal April Saturday would be about 160�.

Iraq: the current state of play

The latest news concerning Iraqi antiquities is that the British Museum is leading the international effort to retrieve as much as possible from the wreckage of Iraq�s looted cultural heritage. Our Fellow John Curtis left for Baghdad just before Easter to assess the damage to Iraq�s museums, libraries and monuments, to draw up lists of looted objects, and to recommend what needs to be done next.

Donny George, head of research at the Baghdad National Museum, will address an international summit on 29 April, where he will report on the scale of the devastation and on the steps that need to be taken next. Neil MacGrgor, FSA, has said that a �first-aid� team would be despatched from the British Museum as soon as possible, following a flood of donations that have been received by the museum over the last week. A group of UK archaeologists, including members of the Institute of Field Archaeologists, have said that they are willing to go to Iraq to help record and rescue damaged artefacts if that is what is required.

On behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group, Professor Colin Renfrew, FSA, has said that he will be asking the UK Government to ensure that UN sanctions against trade with Iraq are not lifted until new sanctions are in place preventing the export of antiquities and other cultural property from Iraq and preventing the import, sale or export of antiquities of Iraqi origin in any country.

Another option being canvassed among archaeologists is an amnesty for looters who return stolen artefacts. Ominously, however, antiquities from Iraqi museums are already appearing on the international art market and US newspapers reported that the FBI had seized at least one suspected piece at an unnamed American airport last week.

Iraq antiquities website

Dr Eleanor Robson of All Souls College, Oxford, and the British School in Iraq, has compiled an excellent website detailing what is known of the current condition of Iraq�s museums, libraries. sites and monuments. The site is at users.ox.ac.uk/~wolf0126/, and Dr Robson promises to update it as and when new information is supplied.

The Government was warned

Before the looting began in Baghdad, a group of UK archaeologists (including the Society�s Treasurer Geoffrey Wainwright, Tom Hassall, FSA, of ICOMOS-UK, Mark Hassall, FSA, of the Royal Archaeological Institute, David Thackray, FSA, of the National Trust, George Lambrick, FSA, of the CBA, Peter Hinton of the IFA and Christopher Catling of Heritage Link) wrote to the Prime Minister to warn of the impending disaster and to call on the coalition governments to maintain adequate guards on Iraqi monuments and museums, and to protect archaeologists and curators in performing their duties.

Professor Rosemary Cramp, President of the Society of Antiquaries, also wrote to the Prime Minister on behalf of the Officers, Council and Fellows of the Society to urge that all that could be done would be done to support and protect Iraqi archaeologists and custodians, and also to ensure that the United Kingdom is in no way complicit in the importation and sale of cultural property from Iraq.

Lord Renfrew, FSA, also tabled to written questions on the subject on 24 March and 2 April, and a letter was sent on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group to the Prime Minister on 11 February asking for measures to be taken to protect Iraq�s heritage in the event of conflict.

The official response

The UK Government has reponded poitively, if belatedly, to the looting crisis and the Department for Culture Media and Sport has issued the following statement.

�We need to ensure that measures are put in place now both to protect immediately vulnerable sites and to begin the process of helping the Iraqi people to conserve and protect their heritage. We know that local religious leaders have already taken a lead to encourage the return of looted artefacts. We want to do everything we can to work with them on this.

The Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, is already taking a lead alongside international colleagues from Europe and the US to ensure a coordinated response from the professional archaeological fraternity. British Museum staff are internationally acknowledged experts on the archaeology of the ancient Middle East and can command respect and support from a wide range of other professionals, including those from Iraq, Iran and Syria.

We are taking measures to ensure that antiquities looted from Iraq are returned if they reach the international art market. A UN sanction currently requires state parties to the UN to impose import controls on objects from Iraq, including antiquities. This means that no objects could reach the UK legally without an import licence. There is absolutely no intention to issue such licences. We are confident that the legitimate art market will cooperate fully, and Tessa Jowell has written to the British Art Market Federation and other key bodies.

This leaves, though, the substantial market in illicit trade. The Private Members Bill �Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill� has just had its second reading. It has all party support and we are looking for ways of ensuring its speedy progress through its remaining stages.�

Iraq in the nineteenth century

A different perspective on Iraq comes from Fellow Lesley Adkins, whose book, Empires of the Plain: Henry Rawlinson and the Lost Languages of Babylon, will be published on 7 July by HarperCollins. Lesley writes: �Perhaps we should be relieved that so many of Iraq's treasures are dispersed safely across the world, especially in the British Museum and the Louvre through the pioneering excavation work in the nineteenth century by people like Paul Emile Botta, Austen Henry Layard and Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, with permits granted by the Ottoman Empire authorities.

Not only was Rawlinson involved in excavation and surveying, but he undertook remarkable work on deciphering Old Persian and Babylonian cuneiform, much carried out in the British Residency at Baghdad, where for many years from 1843 he was Political Agent. His decipherment was made possible because of his success in climbing up to and copying a huge trilingual cuneiform inscription at Bisitun (or Behistun) in western Iran, a feat deemed impossible but which he accomplished on numerous occasions. His discoveries were revealed largely to the Royal Asiatic Society in London, but Rawlinson did give talks to our own Society, most notably on 7 March 1850, an account subsequently published in Archaeologia.

The Newport Ship

Maev Kennedy, Arts and Heritage Correspondent of The Guardian, reported on 25 April that the battle to save the buried stern of the Newport ship has been lost. The report said that archaeologists around the country were united in outrage with local campaigners over the decision to abandon attempts to rescue the stern. Our General Secretary was quoted as saying �It makes you despair of the Welsh�, while Tim Schadla Hall, FSA, said that �a disaster has slowly been created out of what seemed an entirely hopeful situation before Christmas, where the money was in place, the archaeologists were in place, and everything was in line to proceed with the recovery and display of one of the most important medieval ship finds in recent European archaeology�.

Newport City Council insists that retrieving the stern section of the ship was impossible on safety grounds. Local campaigners are convinced that the true reason for the decision not to recover the stern section is that compensation would have to be paid to the builders of the arts centre if construction work was further delayed.

Two Roman forts found at Dinefwr

A combination of geophysical survey and aerial photography has revealed a nine-acre fort at Dinefwr, in Llandeilo, the largest known fort in Wales outside the regional Roman headquarters at Caerleon, as well as a smaller, later military construction. Members of Cambria Archaeology made the discovery whilst surveying Dinefwr Park on behalf of the National Trust. Gwilym Hughes, Director of Cambria Archaeology, said that archaeologists had long suspected there might be a fort near the site, because forts were built at set intervals, with one at Llandovery and one at Carmarthen, either side of Dinefwr. Fortuitously, both forts are protected as part of a Grade I listed landscape.

Wordsworth's birthplace to be transformed

The National Trust has secured a grant of nearly �800,000 for a major programme of improvements and changes at William Wordsworth's Lakeland birthplace. The money will be used to transform Wordsworth House at Cockermouth in Cumbria, giving visitors a taste of life as it was during Wordsworth's boyhood years (1770-8). The Trust has said that it will recreate the sort of Gerogian home that William and his sister Dorothy would have known, including the �sights, sounds and smells of domestic life in Wordsworth�s day�. The house will close in October 2003 and reopen in June 2004.

Witley Court fountain fires again

A crowd of around 5,000 people gathered at Witley Court on Maundy Thursday to witness one of Europe�s largest fountains being fired again for the first time in nearly seventy years. When first fired in the mid-1860s, the spectacular Perseus and Andromeda fountain was described as making the �noise of an on-coming steam train�.

Witley Court, the magnificent Italianate mansion with porticoes by John Nash, was left ruined by a disastrous fire in 1937. It was taken into the care of English Heritage in 1984. The fountain, which cost the equivalent of more than �1 million when it was created, is the triumphant centrepiece of elegant gardens designed by the great nineteenth-century garden designer, W A Nesfield, who described them as his �monster work�. It has 120 separate jets hidden amongst giant shells, sea nymphs, dolphins and a monstrous serpent. The main jet reaches up to 90 feet in the air.

The restoration was made possible by a grant of �727,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the restoration of the fountain and surrounding �lost� south parterre beds and paths. It is estimated that the entire project will cost in the region of �1 million, with the remainder of the money coming from English Heritage. Details have yet to be announced of dates when visitors can see the Witley Court fountains at play.

Flooding In Prague and Bohemia: lessons and opportunities

ICOMOS-UK, in collaboration with English Heritage, invites Fellows to a lunchtime lecture when Josef Stulc, Conservator-General, National Institute for Heritage Preservation, Czech Republic, will talk about his first-hand experience of the devastating floods in the Czech Republic in August 2002 and the massive operation mounted to minimize damage. He will also consider what lessons can be learned from the resilience of many of the buildings, particularly in Prague, and how far risk preparedness can help with such exceptional disasters.

The lecture takes place on 15 May 2003, 1-2pm, at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ. Tickets cost �4. Further details and a booking form can be obtained from: katepugh@icomos-uk.org.

De viris illustribus: the Carrara court in fourteenth-century Padua

Robin Simon, FSA will be giving a lecture to the Court Society at 6pm on 12 May, entitled De viris illustribus: the Carrara court in fourteenth-century Padua. He will discuss the remains of the Carrara Reggia; how the family took over the city; how they tried to keep it; what they did while they'd got it; how they lost it; and the enduring legacy of their rule. The lecture is at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 16 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA. Free admission, drinks, and all are welcome, but please let Dr Mary Hollingsworth know in advance if you wish to attend: maryhollingsworth@ygyh.demon.co.uk.

Henry Loyn Memorial Lecture

A final reminder that the inaugural memorial lecture commemorating Henry Loyn, FSA, the distinguished historian of the Anglo-Saxon period and Professor of Medieval History at Cardiff, will take place on Thursday 15 May 2003, at 6.15pm for 7pm, when Professor Nicholas Brooks will speak on �English Identity from Bede to the Battle of Hastings�. A pre-lecture reception takes place in the Atrium of the Julian Hodge Building, and the lecture takes place in the Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre, Colum Drive Cardiff. Free admission, by ticket only, available from: Rachael Powell, Cardiff University External Relations Division, tel: 029 2087 4731, email: PowellR5@cardiff.ac.uk.

Planning and the Historic Environment: Designation and Guidance in a Changing Wo

With PPGs 15 and 16 being rewritten and the system for designating buildings and monuments under review, the regime for protecting our national heritage is about to change � and the Government has signalled its willingness to listen to views from all parts of the community. This joint IFA and IHBC workshop (to be held on 23 May at Rewley House, Oxford) provides an opportunity for the professionals who operate within the existing guidance and legislation to debate what they wish to see improved. Speakers include Christopher Catling, of Heritage Link, Paul Drury, FSA, Rob John, of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and Peter Beacham, of English Heritage. Further details from the Oxford University Deparment for Continuing Education, email: ppdayweek@conted.ox.ac.uk.

Vacancies

National Maritime Museum, Cornwall: Director
Salary �50,000, closing date 9 May 2003

The newly opened museum is run as a partnership between the National Maritime Museum and the Cornwall Maritime Museum, and it houses the National Small Boat Collection. The Director will be responsible for devising and implementing policy with the Board of Trustees and will be the voice of the museum at home and abroad. Further information from Catherine Crosby, email: catherinecrosby@nmmc.co.uk.

World Heritage Site Co-ordinator
Salary �29,067 to �32,127, closing date 7 May 2003

The task is to head the team responsible for making a bid for World Heritage Site status on behalf of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape. Further details from recruit.pte@cornwall.gov.uk, quoting ref: PTE 03/57.

English Heritage and City of Lincoln Council: Townscape Assessment Project Manager
Salary �24,942 (two-year fixed-term contract), closing date 13 May 2003

This is an exciting opportunity to lead an innovative townscape assessment project linked to a number of initiatives that are working towards the sustainable conservation-led regeneration of Lincoln. The project will be a national pathfinder, designed to provide the whole country with a new model characterization methodology. English Heritage hopes to attract someone with creativity and ideas � a highly motivated, exceptionally gifted and innovative practitioner of modern urban conservation and planning with a keen understanding of the historic aspects of urban character.

For an informal chat about this post, contact Arthur Ward at the City of Lincoln Council (tel: 01522 873479) or Graham Fairclough, FSA, at English Heritage (tel: 020 7973 3124). For a job description, person specification and application form, contact the City of Lincoln Council Personnel Section on tel: 01522 873290 (24-hour answering service).