Tom Sacold wrote:
> From this weeks New Statesman:
> Objects of religious significance are being removed from museum cases
> across the United States and the United Kingdom. Artefacts are being
> hidden away - in effect placed in deep-freeze. Public access, research
> possibilities and academic freedom are being curtailed and closed down.
> In the US, at the new National Museum of the American Indian in
> Washington, material is removed and segregated if the objects are sacred
> or have ceremonial status. Some may be seen only by certain privileged
> individuals in a specific tribe. The public may thus view only some of
> the material held in what is supposed to be a national collection.
If they choose to separate and exclude religious items from public viewing,
I fail to see any problem. In fact, some would say it is a step forward.
Then again, I am on uk.philosophy.atheism so my point-of-view and
interpretation might differ from others'.
> Curators will not display part of the collection at the Hancock Museum in
> Newcastle. Behind closed doors, they have separated parts of this hidden
> trove into segregated boxes. Only men may look at the set of churinga
> totems, given to young men of the Arrernte tribe in Australia when they
> became adults. Any female researchers who make a special request to
> examine the material will be "actively discouraged".
This shows quite prominently the controversial sides of religion in general.
Sooner or later, collections with a religious bias might be allocated
different sites, thereby catering for those with interest in religion and
for those with none.
Roy S. Schestowitz