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I guess you have to credit them for being honest about it.

I have to say, after years of hearing how wonderful the British Museum is, I finally visited last year... and I just found it disturbing.  It was like wandering around in the mansion of some big-game hunter, filled with "trophies," stuffed lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

Partly, my discomfort was probably because most of my previous museum-going was when I was younger, before I'd lived in Africa and the Arab world, so now I know considerably more about the civilizations these artifacts came from and the British colonial history in them, and about how the artifacts were obtained.

But partly it was seeing, for the first time, artifacts from my own country displayed in a foreign museum, especially one in a country that colonized mine.  I know, it sounds weird, and I felt weird thinking that way, and I'm aware that my own government was far more brutal ane exploitative toward the indigenous population of the Americas than the British were.  So I don't know why, but seeing Native American items in the British Museum is very differet than seeing them here.  It was just... jarring.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri May 11th, 2007 at 05:33:06 AM EST
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