Daily Archives: December 15, 2011

The British Museum

During the last trip to the United Kingdom I visited for the first time The British Museum (free). The museum itself is without any doubt amazing.

However I had conflicting ideas of whether the breadth of pieces mostly coming from other countries should have been better displayed at a museum in the country of origin or there in London.

I found it curious that the museum has a dedicated brochure explaining why the collection of Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon is hosted in London instead of Athens as the Greek Ministry of Culture claims they should be. The British Museum claims that the pieces were taken with permission of the then authority of those territories: the Ottoman Empire. It also gives account of an internal investigation carried by the Parliament. And even points at other 6 museums around the world hosting sculptures from the Parthenon as if trying to divert the attention.

The museum’s brochure concludes that the taking of the pieces was legal and its location in London is good as it believes the museum is a unique resource for the world, but offers the reader to check the counter opinion at the Greek ministry’s site.

I still haven’t made my mind yet: is it the World’s looting museum or most of the pieces are better off being conserved there that they would be in Greece, Egypt, Syria or elsewhere?

To end the discussion I found it comical that in order to introduce Stonehenge to the museum’s visitors a poster of it was deemed enough. In this case it wasn’t necessary to bring one or two stones from the site, as has been the case with pieces from many other places.

Besides that discussion I enjoyed seeing some items missing in previous trips. Find some pictures of some of the museum highlights below:

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