St Cross Special Ethics Seminar: Professor Nick Mayhew

Date: Thursday, 23rd June 2011 5:30pm

Venue:  St Cross Room, St Cross College, Oxford

Speaker: Professor Nick Mayhew (Winton Institute for Monetary History, Ashmolean Museum)

Title: Museum Ethics

Abstract: The Museum world, like most professions, encounters various ethical problems. This short talk will consider the ethics of conservation and reconstruction, and of human remains, but will mostly discuss ethical problems associated with the acquisition of cultural property from other countries. Archaeologists are particularly concerned that the trade in antiquities leads to the looting of sites, and illegal export of valuable items. How far can British and American museums continue to maintain collections from the great ancient civilisations when they are unable to acquire important recent finds from other countries?

Bio: Professor Nick Mayhew is Deputy Director (Collections) at the Ashmolean Museum. His own academic specialism is in British and European medieval monetary history and numismatics. His recent publications include Sterling: the rise and fall of a currency (Penguin), and Changing Values in Medieval Scotland: A study of prices, money, and weights and measures, with Elizabeth Gemmill (CUP).

Further details: This talk will be followed by a drinks reception and a dinner, and is open to all. However, those wishing to attend either the talk or dinner must email

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