Re: [Ancientartifacts] Re: De Montebello responds

Mr Blair,
I was not saying that museums are pointless, just De Montabello's "universal
museum" justification for closing his eyes to these ethical issues is
special pleading. What I was "scoffing" at was his patronising insistence
that if its not behind New York glass, the Nok culture deserves to be

Yes you are right, this is about neo-colonialist attitudes. You seem to be
saying white man gave the brown man shirts and buttons, cars and TVs (and
sanitation, roads etc of your other 'quote'), so they should be quite happy
in return to have their cultural heritage ransacked so we can have something
to gawp at when its raining in NY city. This is indeed neo-colonialism....

> An image in ochre on a rock face will suffice for Mr.
> Opuku to remember just what his oppressors had
> taken back.< is that. To imply even metaphorically that if it were not for the
White Man with his "universal museums", Africa would be back in the Stone
Age is simply insulting. It is also ignorant, since it negates the ancient
cultures of an entire continent - like the Egyptians who many here are well
aware developed a little beyond "ochre on a rock face" without the White

> The exposure of African culture by being on display
> in a major museum should be something that would
> raise some pride in African peoples<
"Would" (should) it really? You are saying they should be grateful we
noticed them? That was what DeM was saying. Why would it not be a source of
equal "pride" to those "African peoples" to have some of those pieces
displayed in a major museum in their country of origin where the people of
that country would have a better chance of seeing them without staying in a
NY hotel?

> then we may as well roll back the clock and restore
> all animals and cultures to their proper place.<
"May as well"? This is surely exactly the same tactic as De Montabello and
Welsh are employing, taking a perfectly reasonable comment, and instead of
discussing it reasonably (or in fact at all) merely taking it to ridiculous
extremes and mocking your own creation.

> I couldn't care less what Mr. Opuku thinks. <
Obviously. Nevertheless it really is wasting everybody's time and patience
not to actually read what is being discussed before jumping in with invented
side issues which in this case looks awfully like it is based in white
supremecist ideology. Opoku nowhere writes about "turning back history" in
general. That you and Welsh think it is seems to be because you have not
made the effort to understood what he actually wrote in the article to which
De Montabello replied. Like DM, you simply dismiss it.

Paul Barford


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