Curator’s Diary, Friday 9th July 2010

Yesterday and today (8th and 9th July) the Museum has been hosting the conference Museums and Restitution, organised by the Centre for Museology and Chimera at the University of Manchester. I sat in on the session this morning on the issues surrounding the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Musuem, which included a very interesting paper on Greek people’s attitudes to the restitution, looking at the contrast between emotional and logical responses. The programme can be found here:

http://www.arts.manchester.ac.uk/museology/museumsandrestitution/

Yesterday I was at the University of Warwick giving a seminar as part of the week long summer school, Theory for a Global Age: The Place of Africa (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/staff/academicstaff/bhambra/gurminderkbhambra/research/summerschool2/ ). I spoke on the presentation of Egypt as an African culture in museums in the UK, relating the work we have done here at Manchester through consultation and the conference last October (2009), Egypt in its African Context. My colleague, Sally Ann Ashton, Senior Keeper of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam, gave a paper on her work teaching Egypt as Black History in prisons. We had a very lively discussion of the issues and attitudes relating to re-framing Egypt as an African culture.

At the Museum my focus recently has been editing the proceedings of the Egypt in its African Context conference, and I hope to complete this over the summer. I  also have a new team of volunteers, all students of the Liverpool MA in Egyptian Archaeology, who are helping to complete the documentation of the lithic collections.

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