Thursday, 2 September 2010

British Museum 'gas incident' Explained

The British Museum was evacuated on Saturday after visitors complained of an odd smell along with irritated eyes and throats. Visitors were escorted out of the building shortly after 1pm and the museum remained closed while investigators attempted to determine the cause of the scare. A spokeswoman for the museum said 8,000 people were inside the premises at the time of the evacuation.

Well, it is obvious what it was isn't it? The British Museum houses the portable AntiquitiesScheme, dealing with hundreds of thousands of metal detected finds from all over the country. On this blog I have observed that collectors of corroded dugup metal objects like coins exhibit strange symptoms of clogged synapses fogging cognition and logical thought and have hypothesised that there might be something in the metal corrosion products (perhaps a fungus, or maybe a toxic corrosion inhibitor added to them in the source country) which is causing this effect. In the case of the British Museum we see a huge accumulation of such objects, and the concentration of the harmful substance revealed itself over the weekend in sufficiently high concentrations to be noticed. Collecting of dugup antiquities corrosion products therefore is not only damaging to the archaeological heritage, it could also be damaging to the health.


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