Sunday, May 20, 2012

London on $98 a Day - The British Museum

As we toured the British Museum, we couldn't help but notice that many of the statues were missing key parts of their anatomies. Where did they go? Or had the artist somehow forgotten to include the one area of the male body that men hold most dear?

When I asked a guard, he explained that the genitalia either broke off or were intentionally removed during the Victorian era. It was considered improper to display statues that were anatomically correct, so the offending genitals were removed.

I thanked the guard for the information and was walking away when he came rushing back, tapped my arm, and said, "Don't worry. We've saved all the parts. They're in a box somewhere."

So, there you have it. I only hope that if the curators decide to re-position the missing appendages, they're able to figure out whose part goes with whom! 

Besides the anatomically incorrect statues, we particularly enjoyed seeing the Rosetta Stone, the Egyptian mummies, and the Portland Vase.

This most famous cameo-glass vase, dating, according to the British Museum website, from AD 5-25, has suffered a great deal of abuse. It was smashed by a drunken visitor when it was on display in 1845, and, as time passed and the adhesive failed, it's had to be reassembled three more times over the last hundred or so years. The vase was particularly interesting to David and me because, when it was loaned to Josiah Wedgwood in the late 1700s, it served as the model for our modern-day Wedgwood china. We love knowing that we can buy a piece of china today that is based on an antiquity!

Because it was raining yet again and not conducive to picnicking, we ate inexpensive sandwiches in the museum restaurant. The sandwiches arrived on plain white plates, not Wedgwood, but they tasted very good anyway.

Practicalities -

The #7 bus dropped us right in front of the British Museum.

No comments:

Post a Comment