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Imperial loot or an emporium of treasures?

Chris Price, Deputy Chair of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles [1] responds to Neil MacGregor’s article in The Guardian [2].

The Guardian [3]

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