Posted by: stackedfivehigh | June 22, 2010

No car, no museum work

I didn’t go to the museum on Friday, because my car was in a pretty bad accident last weekend, so I went to the lot to retrieve my belongings.  It’s a total loss, so it was my only chance to get everything out.

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon learning about cultural heritage protection trends and laws throughout Western history, during war.  It is pretty interesting to see how the perception of culturally valuable property has changed, and how different sides have used the same argument to justify different actions.  Napoleon used the ‘we’ll just take that so that it doesn’t get damaged by the natives who can’t really appreciate it anyway’ argument, which fits the overall idea that art is intrinsically valuable to everyone, but fails to recognize that the natives have the right to their own art.  The Duke of Wellington looked at the same logic – that art is valuable to humankind, and said that because of that it can’t be considered war booty, and thus was the first victor (that we know of) that didn’t use the opportunity to enrich himself and his side of the war by bringing home artwork. Sounds like a pretty cool guy.

I have a rental, so should be at the museum this Friday for more finding aid adventures.

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