Panic and Panegyrics: Comments on “Songs of Praise” for the British Museum

We have had within the last few days a spate of articles (, all praising in fulsome language the British Museum and its director, Neil MacGregor. One article, “Is the British Museum the greatest museum on earth” written by Damien Whitworth, appeared in the Times on 12 July. Another sycophantic article, by Ben Macintyre in The Times of July 10, 2008, is captioned, “Let’s all have tickets to the universal museum”, arguing that “It’s pointless trying to work out who owns ancient art objects. We need to share them around the world”. A third article, by Tristram Hunt, “The British Museum is now our top attraction. If only others would shrug off their deadening ways and follow its lead”, appeared in The Observer on Sunday July 6, 2008.
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