Monday, 8 February 2010

Britain to Iran: Go ahead, enrich uranium...just hope you don't want your URN back!!

The offending urn
At least that's how Tehran tells this tale of diplomatic woe. They want their urn back, dammit, but the British Museum is holding on tight. Iran says for political reasons, the Brits say for research reasons. Who's to be believed?

Well, this isn't the first time the British Museum has been accused of cultural larceny. Egypt has been gunning for the Rosetta Stone for a while now. The central London museum's defense is a bit milquetoast:

"Museums nowadays see themselves as centres of the human story, so we’re able to tell the story of humanity, and Egypt, in London at a museum that attracts 5 million visitors a year. I understand why people want [artifacts] back in their countries but I see it as being part of the human story," says Bonnie Greer, deputy chairman of the museum (and an inspiration to the the American immigrant community). Cairo's like, "Pshhaw...."

In Freedom Chips' opinion, maybe Bonnie Greer is right, but not all can be excused by the British Museum being such a badass institution. (And that it is, though they need to replace some of the peeling-off captions.) Egypt and the UK should work out a sharing deal. As for Iran, they can wait. A rich country like the UK will have better research capacities than Iran, and we'll all learn more about this troublemaking urn.

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