In my ignorance, I eagerly advocated Lucy’s travels over here to the States, earlier this week. I did so because I thought it would be important to see, even despite the ulterior motives of the tour.
From the “Washington Post”
“Rick Potts, the director of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program and an influential paleoanthropologist, said he and many other scientists agree that Lucy is too fragile to travel. He said the Ethiopian artifacts would not come to the Smithsonian.The International Association for the Study of Human Paleontology, a group affiliated with UNESCO, passed a resolution in 1998 saying such fossils shouldn’t be moved outside the country of origin. The resolution, unanimously approved by representatives of 20 countries, including Ethiopia and the United States, said replicas should be used for public display.
Potts, who has led major excavations in East Africa for more than 25 years, said fossils should be moved from their vaults “only under the most compelling scientific reasons.” (He keeps a cast of Lucy in his laboratory at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.)
A spokesman for the American Museum of Natural History in New York also said that museum would not accept the 3.2-million-year-old fossilized remains.”
There is no doubt that the slots won’t be filled but I now have second doubts about the move. Is it that important to see these fossils in real life with the risks that it maybe damaged?