on 22/7/03 6:34 am, John Woodgate at [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Should we send the Rosetta Stone (and the Elgin Marbles) back home:
. . .
I find the title of this posting more interesting than its rather hackneyed
Surely virtually all artefacts are removed from their original context
(because the people who gave them context by using them are now dead) and
from the context in which they were found (because they have been cleaned
and conserved and placed in a museum more or less distant from their find
But these artefacts are not without context. They have a present context,
different from their earlier ones, given for instance by their proximity to
other artefacts with which they can be compared and/or by their history and
influence. The Elgin Marbles, to take one of the examples quoted, are now in
the British Museum's context of world cultures and in that of a London whose
architecture and taste were much influenced by them in the nineteenth
Artefacts in private collections, to revert to an earlier thread, are in the
context conferred by the taste of their collectors.