April 24, 2007

Imperial loot or an emporium of treasures?

Posted at 12:56 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles

Chris Price, Deputy Chair of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles responds to Neil MacGregor’s article in The Guardian.

The Guardian

Monday April 23, 2007
The Guardian

Neil MacGregor, in his analysis of the Britishness of the British Museum (Comment, April 19), says it was an 18th-century “emporium” which enabled ordinary people to look at artefacts from around the world. At an emporium you buy things. A large proportion of thing in the BM were imperial loot. He then goes on to talk of British values. One of these has been generosity – in restoring dignity to nations which Britain once looted. Some of these are today quite capable of looking after their own heritage; why should they not have their own cultural artefacts restored to them? Or does Britishness involve hanging on to a cultural empire to replace its old economic and political one?
Christopher Price

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