RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: NY Met\'s renovated Roman and Greek halls
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The Met in NY has an interactive site with 3D type views of the galleries. A good model for any museum's webpages:

NY Metropolitan Greek and Roman Gallery
Quote:A good model for any museum's webpages
Except of course that the interactive gallery is actually on the NY Times website, not the Met's...

Not to mention this lovely little snippet:
"Archeologists who now argue that antiquities are better served in the dirt where they came from than dispersed among public museums like the Met imply that they prefer the past remain dead and buried. The last thing Italy needs today is another Roman vase."

This ignorance, repeated again and again, drives me out of my mind! That's not what archaeologists say at all. We're not against display in public museums! That's a great thing! Just not when that display is built upon the ongoing and contemporary, very real looting and destruction. Museums like the Met play coy or deliberately confuse the issue. To give just one famous example, they claimed not to know that the Lydian Hoard came from looted tumuli.

Carlos Picon, the Met's Curator for Greek and Roman antiquities, smugly pops off gems like "If I want to to spend three wonderful hours learning something about sixth-century China, I don't want to see their Tupperware. But some archaeologists only care about the bones, and the person buried there. I care about what this person took with him or her, what it says about them, what it says about their imagination, their concept of quality, what they would like to be remembered for. What can you know about them, anyway? That he or she died at the age of thirty-five, with no teeth?"
'Upon hearing [Elizabeth] Stone's suggestion that the collecting of antiquities will eventually earn the same degree of opprobium that the wearing of fur has acquired in some quarters, Picon lifted a derisive brow. "I don't have a fur coat, but I would like to have one".'

Such smugly willful ignorance!
Danno,

To be head of a department at the Met, one has to have a pretty high level of not-getting-it-ness. Picon is not well thought of in the museum community. At all. But museum policies are driven by the trustees (like Shelby White) who are driven to collect, collect, collect with no regard for legality, reason, or the bigger picture.

The maps and gallerys on the NY Times site are very good, though, for educating people who can't make it to New York. Thanks for the link, richsc! The Theban Mapping Project does something similar(ly cool).
I know, I know... it just gets my goat that such sentiments get plastered into the Times and the New Yorker as if they were perfectly reasonable.