Concerns have also been expressed about Paiz, the Maya Museum Foundation’s president who is believed to be the most influential private collector of Mayan antiquities. Paiz has openly admitted to purchasing many of his artifacts in markets, on the street, and from private individuals in the country. Purchasing and selling archaeological goods is illegal in Guatemala, as it is believed to encourage looting of archeological sites, but Paiz openly discusses his acquisitions, which many people believe could only have been acquired by dealers through some form of looting.
In 2014 the Science Museum in London will open its brand new gallery, Information Age. The gallery will bring communication technologies and their users to life, beginning 200 years ago with the arrival of the electric telegraph and coming right up to the present day. Mobile phones have radically changed the ways we communicate, especially in developing countries where we have seen a ‘leap-frogging’ of technologies such as the landline telephone. In order to tell the very important stories about the impacts of mobile telephony in developing countries we chose to present a case study to our visitors. After much deliberation we decided on an anthropological treatment of mobiles in Cameroon. Our research included a field trip to Cameroon to carry out interviews and acquire artefacts for display, working alongside an anthropologist, a filmmaker and an historian. We have also worked extensively with the Cameroonian community in London who are helping us tell their stories authentically and sensitively.