One of the things that I love about the British Museum? It's FREE! When a museum has free entry, it always makes me feel better about popping in for a quick visit rather than feeling like I need to spend all day there to really "get my money's worth." It's a silly frame of mind, but I can't help it.
So, here are some snaps from an afternoon of wandering in a very hot, very un-air conditioned, very crowded, very amazing museum:
The building is beautiful! The collection is amazing! But, our visit to The British Museum does bring up some big questions I have about the acquisition of some of these early works. In essentials, those early explorers/archeologists who acquired this amazing collection were grave robbers and thieves. It was acceptable behavior at the time, but many of the countries which were robbed are actively asking for the return of their art and artifacts.
But, it's complicated. Of course.
Sometimes the artwork has been paid for. But the person who sold it, stole it. Sometimes there are concerns about whether the artwork/artifact will be safe if returned home.
If you're interested in learning more about these issues, here are some articles I found interesting:
- Ancient Sites Destroyed by Isis
- British Museum & artifacts from Benin
- 9 Treasures That Should Be Returned
- Won't Return Painting Looted by Nazis
- Modern Day Looting
- Egypt's History of Grave Robbing
Do you have an opinion on these thorny questions? I'd love to hear it!
Thanks for stopping by!