Friday, June 26, 2009

oh my gosh the british museum

I never finished my museum series. Why do I continually forget to post about our trip? I do want to have a record of it.

J and I went to the British Museum. We only had a couple hours and we missed out on an entire floor--Africa, North America, and Mexico.

The British Museum is free. You just walk on in. It's unlike any other museum I've experienced in its accessibility. Everything is just there, much of it not roped off, not behind glass. There are hordes of people, of course, and they are all snapping pictures. I don't know about you, but in pretty much every museum I've ever been in, that's a big no-no. It took me a few minutes to get over my camera inhibitions, but then I started snapping away like every else.

The British Museum is controversial. They have many priceless artifacts from the ancient world (ah! the joys of Colonialism!), and some of those formerly-ancient countries want their stuff back. Greece has been especially insistent. The British Museum told them they didn't have adequate facilities for housing artifacts like the Elgin Marbles, so they built a new museum. The British Museum then came up with another reason they should hold on to the Greek's stuff: In Greece it would be enjoyed mainly by the Greeks, while in London the entire world can enjoy them! Funny coincidence, when I was in London in April I did happen to see the entire world. So they may have something there.

Whose side do you take? (You may want to read more than my silly, simplified synopsis of the issue.)

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