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Fireside Chats: Ghosts at the Museum

Noah Angell, an artist, is also conducting an ongoing investigation of hauntings at the British Museum. It would be surprising if the museum *wasn’t* haunted, honestly, given some of the pieces in its collection, their history, their provenance, their initial purposes. But it is suggested that some of the hauntings are the result of artifacts at the museum that do not really want to be there. This makes me sad.

There is a point to be made that so many historical artifacts ended up in Europe via questionable means in centuries past. Under the best of circumstances it’s a thorny issue: should Egyptian mummies, such as the infamous “Unlucky Mummy” of the high priestess of the Temple of Amen-Ra, not be in museums in Egypt, some have argued. But it’s also an undeniable truth that there are places in the world where priceless treasures simply are not safe. Just look at what happened to the museums in Iraq. Treasures that are literally beyond price are now lost forever. I agree with Jim Peters, a collections manager at the museum. He “agrees to a certain extent”, he says of the debate about where artifacts originating from foreign countries belong, but maintains that it is “very important the pieces are here.” Yes, in a place where they are safe. I would hope that any restless spirits attached to these artifacts would understand that the desire nowadays is just to keep them protected and preserved.

Oh, and the British Museum is correctly closed due to the ‘Rona. That means the ghosts have the run of the place.

TheCheezman • May 25, 2020

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