“What few people realise is that MacGregor’s activities on behalf of the British Museum, although dressed up as a laudable didactic mission of public enlightenment and edification, are actually part of a more urgent project to protect the beleaguered edifice that is the Encyclopaedic Museum in Europe and North America.” Tom Flynn (1)
Oba of Benin with two Attendants and two Portuguese in background, Benin/Nigeria, now in the British Museum.Seized by British troops during the invasion of Benin in 1897.
It is perhaps indicative of the cultural climate of our times that the British Museum and the BBC could announce a programme with a pretentious title such as “A History of the World in 100 Objects”. (2) A pretence to serving the whole world, a title which indicates a wider view but hides in fact the reality of frantic efforts to preserve the interests of a few in the guise of the so-called “universal museums” which have come under some heavy criticisms in recent years.
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