Looking for a slogan ? How about last year's Museum and Gallery Month theme
"The Past inspires the future"
On Tuesday night I was at a meeting at the University of Teesside Virtual
Reality Centre, working up a Local Heritage Initiative Bid, when they
incidentally showed us a VR model of Grangetown's new Millennium Green. It's
a government funded urban renewal scheme, part of which seeks to improve
peoples living environment. This parkland has been designed by the locals.
Guess what is at the centre of the landscaped park, ponds and gardens ?
A large stone circle.
According to the VR guys, they (the locals) felt that a stone circle was a
symbol of time and permanence, encapsulating their feelings about belonging
to a place, town and community (my wording, not theirs). Hence the stone
circle, a brand new one, made from local stone by a sculptor.
You see, its not a choice between funding archaeology or fighting poverty :
they aren't mutually exclusive. The way to help people out of poverty is to
create jobs, opportunities for education and leisure, freedom from crime, a
healthy environment, a decent living wage etc. Slashing archaeological
funding under the pretence of "well, we have more important things to spend
the money on" is the politician's way of taking an easy route, and merely
pretending to be tough, rather than tackling the socio-economic problems
...and that's my 2p worth
PS University of Teesside VR Centre is at http://vr.tees.ac.uk