Sunday, 27 January 2013

Philistines in Northampton

Picture: Northampton Borough Council
Horrid tale of deaccession plans in Northampton.  When the council heard that an ancient Egyptian statue was worth two million quid, it took it off display and put into storage at an undisclosed location pending sale "to a museum with more of a focus on Egyptology" according to an earlier BBC story.  Now they just talk of it meeting its reserve.  They want to 'reinvest' the cash in local history - a narrow and philistine proposal that is likely to mean £2m worth of storyboards and interactive displays.  How condescending to assume that local citizens will care only about their own backyard, that human civilisation in its widest sense is irrelevant to Northampton.
Jonathan Jones has written an excellent article in response, rightly criticising the parochialism of wanting to focus only on the story of Northampton - a story of "decline in intellectual ambition, cultural seriousness and global consciousness".

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