Posts Tagged ‘Historical artefact’

‘A History of the World, not the History of the World.’ A History of the World in 100 objects

9 February 2010

Contributed by Léan Ní Chléirigh

BBC Radio 4 and the British Museum have launched a new series of programmes in which they will attempt to tell the History of the World through 100 artefacts found in the collections of the British Museum. Each artefact will form the basis for one programme lasting 15 minutes. Being a huge fan of Museums, Radio 4 and the 15-minute programme, this was easily the most exciting thing which happened to me all year.

The project, however, is not without its difficulties. The immediate one which springs to mind is the right of the British Museum to many of the artefacts which it displays. So far none of the objects discussed have a British provenance. When the show was previewed in the Times, the majority of the comments came from African readers quite reasonably asking for their stuff back from the British Museum. Neil MacGregor, the director of the British museum and presenter, has foreseen this problem and he promises that this subject will be tackled in the series. In the mean time he asked Egyptian author, Ahdaf Soueif what she thinks. Soueif’s attitude is fairly conciliatory; that the presence of Egyptian artefacts in museums all over the world reminds people of the common human history which we all share. Read more