Stay+ : heartening news from Croydon

New Croydon Council leadership seeks to repair relationship with Museums Association and Arts Council

It’s been hard these last few years to feel positive about the future of heritage and museums, so I though some good news deserved highlighting.

Last year the Conservative controlled Croydon Council decided to try and sell 24 Chinese ceramics from the Riesco Collection at Christie’s. The council had hoped that the part sale of the collection, bequeathed in trust for the people of Croydon” in 1959, would raise over £13 million. In the end only 17 items sold, leaving the council with £6-7 million after auctioneer commission.

Riesco Gallery
The Riesco gallery in Croydon Museum after the sale. 
Image © Andrew Smith

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The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxfordshire and…a conclusion (part 4)


This is the final in a series of posts on my chapter (co-authored with Dr Dan Hicks) on Oxfordshire in the book World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization. Conceived by Dr Dan Hicks (Curator of Archaeology) and managed by both Dan and Dr Alice Stevenson (Researcher in World Archaeology) the project involved a host of specialists examining over 30,000 objects from 134 countries in a process not too dissimilar from a  MoRPHE post-excavation assessment.

This post presents my personal thoughts on the significance and potential of the Oxfordshire archaeology collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum. It is based on notes I wrote in 2010, so some aspects are likely out of date now (particularly references to ‘big society’ and a ‘new government’). You can read my introductory thoughts here, the chapter itself here and an extended discussion on Pitt-Rivers (the man) and his work at Dorchester Dykes here. Continue reading