It was a revelation to western artists and scholars, and above all to the public, that metal work of this refinement had been made in 16th-century Africa. Universal museum offering everyone insights into cultural history, argues its director Neil MacGregor, the museum promotes a greater understanding of humanity For many, the icon of the British Museum is the Rosetta Stone, that administrative by-product of the Greek imperial adventure in Africa.
Like Gulliver returning from his travels, the scholar and visitor to the British Museum would see that there are many good ways of organising the world. And the sculptures, since coming to London, have become part of another European and world story.
There they caused a sensation. When members of the London Maori Universal museum came to bless the installation in the museum of Maori objects, some of them given by their ancestors to Captain Cook, speeches, songs and prayers acknowledged different kinds of relationships — spiritual and academic — with the objects on display.
But I want to begin with an object from the other end of the continent. They borrowed from private family law the notion of the trust. Here again, the Universal museum that we are the British Museum, and not a French one, is significant.
More than life-size, made of large chunks of metal styled as though fabric, it represents a masquerade of the sort that members of her family in Nigeria take part in. Yet the cultural property movement is complex and deeply flawed.
The study and classification of objects began to reveal a history different from the familiar narrative of the texts known and studied for centuries. The original collection contained books, rocks, plants, animals, and scientific instruments — all the world, physical, natural and human, under one roof.
This context, they argue, is what animates the marbles.
At the end of the 19th century, the plaques were removed and put in storage while the palace was rebuilt. If museums can honestly address their inherent limitations and treat objects of the past ethically in the present, we may, ever so slowly, build a better future. Highlighting this is not a criticism of their job performance, nor an attempt to dismiss them or the museums they govern.
In artistic terms the sculptures are clearly part of a process that embraces Egypt and Mesopotamia, Turkey, India, Rome and the whole of Europe. But in their inception such institutions set out to create public places where we might discover and understand other peoples, and thus find out about ourselves.
The lightning rod in these arguments is the case of the Elgin Marbles or really, the Parthenon Marbles. This was an extraordinary notion in Then he sent a raven, which did not return, and he knew the floods had subsided.
An essential part of such Universal museum understanding is the recognition that within the same museum object, different histories, meanings, and functions may freely cohabit.
The British Museum must now reaffirm its worldwide civic purpose. Rather than make a repatriation claim on the basis of ownership, some argue the marbles should be returned so that they can be seen in context of the Parthenon. Though inequality has long manifested in museums, the discussions may appear new to some because they are only now gaining mainstream traction.
Trustee ownership confers duties rather than rights. The British Museum is the greatest universal museum in the world. The supreme example of this transformational new understanding is of course the Universal museum Stone.
It seems to me that the throne of weapons, the masquerade figure, the Benin bronzes, allow a range of different approaches — personal, political, sacred, military, historical, cultural and international.
It is hard to know how far the MPs and grandees who presided over its birth had thought through the consequences of creating a public space for intellectual inquiry and the dissent that necessarily follows it.
These objects raised all kinds of questions about the origins and practices of communities dizzyingly remote from European understanding, and impossible to square with the received theories of world history.
But rather than try to present these objects as apolitical works of art, museums should realize or better yet embrace that they have always been a part of society at large, reflecting its biases, flaws, and politics. He found that it told the story of Utnapishtim, who had been warned by the gods that there would be a great flood that would destroy the world.
The rest of the world has rights to use and study the collection on the same footing as British citizens. Out of the terrible circumstances of the dispersal, a new, more securely grounded view of Africa and of African culture could be formed.
It is also, I believe, an object that achieves one of the fundamental purposes for which the British Museum was set up by Parliament inand for which it still exists today: It is a view of Africa made by an African, but one that could have been given this physical form only outside Nigeria.
Some nations asserting cultural property rights are culturally, religiously and even ethnically distinct from the civilisations whose artefacts they now claim. Asserting legality and universality, the British Museum has ignored or declined Greek requests of various forms since the country gained independence in It is a chair, pieced together from fragments of weapons decommissioned in Mozambique after the amnesty that ended the civil war inby the artist Kester as part of the project Transforming Arms into Plough Shares.
And soon other texts, long unreadable, complicated the story yet further. Italy, as a state, is a comparatively modern creation, but the objects it claims date back up to 1, years.
At the end of the flood he sent a dove and a swallow out and they came back because they could not find dry land. A collection like that held in trust for the world by the British Museum is surely a powerful weapon in a conflict that may yet be mortal, unless we find means to free minds as well as bodies from oppression.mint-body.com is a platform for academics to share research papers.
In claiming to present the history of the entire world, the “universal museum” fails to recognize that world’s present. In18 major museums rele.
The Museum Universe Data File (MUDF) is an evolving list of museums and related organizations in the United States. UMA (Universal Museum of Art) is a museum in virtual reality. UMA collaborates with specialists and institutions to create unique exhibitions! Whether you’re equipped with a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, or a virtual reality headset, it has never been easier to visit a museum!
The British Museum is the greatest universal museum in the world. On my first visit there, as a teenager, I remember feeling physically overwhelmed by the sheer scale and variety of the artefacts, art and ideas on display: Mesopotamian relics, Roman statuary, pharaonic carvings, Viking burial treasures.
The term “universal” or “encyclopedic” museum today refers mainly to famous museums with collections of art and other cultural items from around the world, not just from the nation where they are located.Download