Them marbles (I'm losing them?)
So, the new Acropolis Museum opens today. It seems like as good a time as any to articulate my position on the Parthenon Marbles repatriation debate. That 'holy cow' of museology. In short...
I really couldn't care less.
I visited them once at the British Museum: was completely nonplussed and came away feeling kind of 'meh'. I have no desire to repeat the experience.
New Curator triggered this bout of apathy with his recent 'revisionist' post. The trouble is that I used to, like the good museum studies student I once was (now I'm just a bad museologist, bad to the bone), share that knee-jerk, pro-repatriation position that most of us seem to buy into at some time or another. But when I really tried to think about the issue this week, I realised that keep them, send them away, whatever. I really don't care.
I'm not personally invested in the issue. I'm not Greek. I'm not an archaeologist or a classicist. I've never been to the Acropolis. I don't work for the British Museum, or the Greek tourist board.
I have a lingering, vague, detached academic interest in the wider political (dare I say nationalist, propagandist?) implications of the debate. But that's it.
Is this the museological equivalent as coming out as a global warming denier?