Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Maritime archaeology program - collection

As a result of its national profile the museum receives many enquiries from Australia and overseas about the acquisition or loan of archaeological material. Our Maritime Archaeology Program Policy (199 kb) includes guidelines about ethical practices and legislation. These have been adopted from recommendations by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM) in an effort to curb the destruction of underwater cultural heritage sites, and the illegal or unethical trade in artefacts.
Acquiring archaeological material
Generally we do not acquire archaeological material except in certain special circumstances. As a rule, when material is offered to us, we investigate transferring it to the designated state authority or relevant museum responsible for archaeological material. We prefer that collections stay together except for the requirements of conservation, study or display.
Loan of archaeological objects
When the museum borrows archaeological material for display, it must have been obtained in accordance with the 1990 ICMM recommendations. That is, the material must not have been excavated for profit, it must have been obtained legally and excavated correctly.
Under the 1972 Australian-Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks (ANCODS) the ANMM is the legal Commonwealth repository of selected material from the four major Dutch shipwrecks off the Western Australian coast. Some of this material is displayed in the Navigators gallery

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