Friday, 14 December 2018

March 2019: Time for a 'Brimusexit' Too

Along with Brexit, now the country officially states it is not part of any community with anyone but itself, Britain should amend the archaic British Museum Act of 1963.

The act as a whole sanctions the BM hanging on to stuff they took from other countries that, in the days of colonialism, it forcefully impelled to become part of the community they called the 'British Empire'. That, thankfully, has all gone now leaving a bad taste in the mouth for some and a smug feeling of nostalgia among another group (and its pretty likely that a lot of that group with their myth of britishness are among the Leavers). As it is written, the Act prevents the Museum from officially doing the right thing and removing inappropriately appropriated artefacts from its collection, except in very exceptional – and rare – cases. The law only reinforces the atavistic social acceptance of Britain’s right to plundered artefacts, regardless of how they were taken (Ruqaya Izzidien, 'Stolen goods: Britain's museums must hand back colonial plunder' Middle East Eye 14 December 2018).

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