Thursday, 30 May 2013

British Museum Budget Cuts Loom?

[A] dark cloud looms over the British Museum today. Rumour suggests (and ministers won’t deny) that the Chancellor is keen to lop a few million quid from its budget in the 2015/16 spending review which is due to be published this month[...]
Lloyd Evans, 'A priceless treasure: The Chancellor must not slash the British Museum’s budget', The Spectator 1 June 2013) trots out the usual reasons why, its a place tourists go and tourism makes money, we can generate international goodwill by loaning objects from its collections. And that's about it, oh yes, one more thing:
Suppose you’re hacking away at your Norfolk spud patch and your fork strikes the prow of a Viking long ship buried beneath the topsoil. You know exactly who to contact. The BM will send a task-force of world-class experts to inspect your discovery, to rule on its authenticity and to advise on its future disposition. You expect no less. [...] the BM’s Portable Antiquities Scheme deals with close to 100,000 finds every year. [...]
One hundred thousand accidental finds made by members of the public as described or just under 100 000 objects wrenched temporarily from the hands of artefact collectors to make one last record before they disappear? When was the last time the BM sent a team of experts out to study a Viking longship in a Norfolk potato patch, even metaphorically? Even the Staffordshire hoard was excavated by an outside team. Still if they are short of money, generating goodwill could not be easier than giving the Parthenon Marbles back, that would do wonders, as for the revenue, put screens up and charge tourists five quid each to go behind them and watch the careful dismantling and packing one by one of the exhibits in the Duveen Gallery.

 Oh, and yes, get rid of the fund-gobbling artefact hunter partnering of the PAS. Let the BM's fiunds be spent on and in the Museum, and let outside
artefact hunters do their own propaganda ("Hoard Hunters" is the way to go, I'd say).


clive6 said...

Yet no comment on this artefact gobbler

Paul Barford said...

This concerned the Museum of LONDON excavation team, not the BRITISH Museum. Two entirely different teams Clive, which is why I do not mention it here.

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.