William Eichler 07 September 2018

Council ‘disposed’ of ancient Roman artefact

Colchester Borough Council disposed of a Roman water feature after it proved ‘too expensive' to maintain.

The ancient artefact was discovered in the late nineties but was damaged as it was moved to the former museum storage area.

A lack of space in the storage facility meant it had to be stored in the car park.

The council considered moving the water feature to the garden behind a Roman theatre, but, as a council spokesperson says, ‘it soon became clear that its poor condition meant that the project to preserve it would be prohibitively expensive.’

‘It was at this point the decision was taken not to ship the water feature to the Heckworth Close storage facility but to dispose of it – except for a small number of tesserae that were retained for research purposes,’ the spokesperson said.

‘Colchester Borough Council is the custodian and conservator of thousands of wonderful historical artefacts on public display in our three Museums and other sites around the borough,’ they continued.

‘In addition, hundreds of thousands of artefacts that are not able to be displayed are carefully maintained for posterity in our secure storage facilities.

‘While we recognise the importance and value of maintaining our heritage assets, we do at times also have to strike a balance with the level of public funding and storage space available, the quality of those collections, and the ability to make those collections accessible to the public who ultimately pays for their upkeep.’

Image: not the actual water feature.

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