Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Maybe There’s A Silver Lining…

…if this also means the banning of that ghastly faux-Egyptian GoCompare! advert:
Museums are hiding away mummies and human remains for fear of offending pagans and other minority groups, it has been revealed.
Well, I suppose it’s a tiny little bit better than covering them up because people are ‘offended’ they are naked, but still…

Naturally, this is an inevitable result of minority pressure groups putting the wind up museum directors:
The move is designed to give the skeletons and mummies ‘privacy’ and to avoid upsetting faith groups and even some museum staff, according to academic findings.
‘Even some museum staff’..? Good grief, who the hell are they hiring?
The trend towards political correctness in museums has been highlighted by Dr Tiffany Jenkins, a sociologist who is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Oh, a sociologist, eh? This’ll be good!
Since the late 1970s, human remains in museum collections have been subject to claims and controversies, such as demands for repatriation by indigenous groups who suffered under colonisation, particularly in Australia, North America and Canada.
But Dr Jenkins says that such appeals are not confined to once-colonised groups.
Well, no. It’s called the Law of Unintended Consequences. Also the Slippery Slope phenomenon. Once you grant rights to a group, there’s nothing to prevent that group growing, or other groups demanding the same right.

And that’s when the likes of Dr Jenkins start saying ‘Oh, wait. That’s not what we intended!’.

But it’s what happened:
British pagans formed Honouring the Ancient Dead in 2004 to campaign for reburial and respect for pre-Christian skeletons from the British Isles.
Heh! Sauce for the goose, indeed…
Dr Jenkins said: ‘The profession is over-reacting to the claims of small minority groups – such as the Pagan organisation, Honouring the Ancient Dead.
‘Most remarkable of all is that human remains of all ages, and which are not the subject of claims-making by any community group, have become subject to concerns about their handling, display and storage, expressed by influential members of the museum profession.’
You see, it was quite OK when all those minority groups like Aborigines, Eskimos and south sea islanders were demanding that the western culture has wronged them and so should pay ‘tribute’.

But it’s entirely another kettle of fish when the western culture says ‘Hang on! I’m having some of that too!’.

Then, it’s suddenly a step too far….
A recent opinion poll of 1,000 people commissioned by English Heritage found that 90 per cent were comfortable with keeping prehistoric human remains in museums.
Presumably, the other ten per cent just stared blankly at the questioner before saying ‘You’re kidding me, right?’…

5 comments:

James Higham said...

Museums are hiding away mummies and human remains for fear of offending pagans and other minority groups, it has been revealed.

Aaaaaaaggggghh!!!!!

banned said...

When are we going to demand the return of Byzantium to Christendom from the heathen Turk?

JuliaM said...

"Aaaaaaaggggghh!!!!!"

Gets you like that, doesn't it? But it's inevitable. Here's hoping the hard sciences aren't as badly affected by this new scientific timorousness...

"When are we going to demand the return of Byzantium to Christendom from the heathen Turk?"

Heh!

allcoppedout said...

Sounds like a cold case for the Essex police, fortified as they must be by my offer of two and a half cheers. I have visions of them invading a turkey farm after misunderstanding banned, and offending Pagans right left and centre for political balance. Then they will conflate the term 'Museum' with 'Muslim' and run away to hide after a number of raids done on the best intelligence go sour when Islamic mothers turn up alive and well.

Anonymous said...

Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Jefferson: "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it."

Freedom today: The right to take offense.