Sunday, 5 May 2019

Where the Lamassu wants to be

The British take the lamassu for
London (note the crowds of
'natives' depicted as standing
 idly by, watching)
In a lecture in India, British Museum director Hartwig Fischer asks where a lamassu would want to go if asked, and suggests it would want
"to be part of the ever-growing knowledge and reference through our times and cultures and be part of a museum which transcends all borders, one that teaches humankind what it takes to create culture, keep it alive and what it takes to heal"
 (Anasuya Basu, 'Danger to the survival of cultural heritage in times of conflict, Targetted destruction of antiquities and, by association, of cultural capital is a global reality' Telegraph of India, 5th May 2019). Since the lamassu and shedu were household protective spirits of the common Babylonian people that later became also regarded as royal protectors, and thus placed as sentinels at entrances to local buildings to keep evil at bay, I doubt that.

In what way does the British Museum, stubbornly keeping colonial loot such as the Parthenon Marbles that others want back, teach anyone "what it takes to heal"?

Ridiculous Victorian platitudes spouted by German museum director
And what does Herr Fischer want to say suggesting that a lamassu would have to go to London to find such a museum, instead of remaining in Iraq?
hat tip Michael Press

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