Thursday, 21 January 2010

Unintentional (?) Friday funny

It's a long time since I had one of these. I can go on blaming uni assessments and work, but it gets boring.

I assume it's not intentional, but this Guardian article A world of screens and plastic has fed a cultish craving for relics of the past is hilarious, and beautifully quotable. As Linda Spurdle tweeted: 'I missed this training day! "Museum staff are trained to behave as acolytes to their objects.." prob stuck on H & S day'.

On the BBC/BM 'A History of the World': "Since this is radio, we are not allowed to see the objects, thus enhancing the status of their custodian as interceding priest. ... Authenticity is essential and there must be no copies or representations – in ­MacGregor's case not so much as a ­picture." Well, you could look online.

And if is to be true "[i]t does not matter if no one ever sees the shard. Most museum objects are seen only by their guardians, albeit financed by tithes from taxpayers", we'd probably better hide the 230,000 Science Museum, National Railway Museum and National Media Museum objects online. On the other hand, I do like a good 'museum as church' argument, cos if it was true the office wouldn't have bundles of excited kids on the other side of the door and it might be be quieter.

On a more serious note, whenever I come across articles like this it reminds me how far we have to go in helping people realise exactly how accessible, enjoyable, potentially challenging and just plain interesting our (your, their) museums are.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Linda's tweet too and laughed at this. I agree with your last point about the need for wider understanding of the value of making heritage accessible. But of course, Jenkins isn't just 'people'. He was a chair of English Heritage and often called on to speak/write/decide on heritage matters. It's the pundits & decision-makers we need to address.

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