Sunday, 2 December 2012

Neil MacGregor on the Values of Museums

British Museum director Neil MacGregor spoke last week of his fears for Britain's museums in a time of public spending cuts, saying that the current situation was "very worrying". He emphasised the importance of museums up and down Britain as "keepers of civic space and the public realm, and of huge importance in the economic life of their towns and cities" (, 'Babylonian relic to visit US with historic message of tolerance', The Guardian  27 November 2012). It is not entirely clear what he means by "keepers of civic space" - is he talking about the role of the buildings as local landmarks? Or providing civic space for people to congregate? Certainly I think it is a worrying trend to subsume everything to civic bodies making money from tourism. 

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