Sunday, October 6, 2013

Museums and Money

Seeing this article on the drastic slashing of personnel at museums in the U.K. has me thinking once again about the cultural destruction wrought upon us by the interests who see fit to shut down the government in the name of getting their way around a law rightfully passed on my own soil.  We've all heard about national park shutdowns and all those people whose weddings and camping trips have been affected.  Every now and then you even here a side note about the children going without food because of this business.

The damage to our culture by the economic barbarities, whether by removing employees' livelihoods or by the irreparable compromises to our art and even architecture, is dizzying.  For every Kickstarter to refurbish and preserve images created for The Raven, there are invisible losses, some of them human, some of them not, perhaps, directly related to the shutdown, but born of our economy's cruelties nonetheless.  The little-discussed, but not unseen decimation of our art, culture, history, archaeology are just as dangerous a loss to history as the destruction of Buddhas in Afghanistan, or the looting of European art history by Nazis.  Just as evil, and born of self-interests no less bitter.  Neglect, or withdrawal, can be as brutal as bombs.

We are a fragile race, humanity.  Our cultures are as vulnerable as gossamer in a storm.  When we fail as stewards art, architecture, beauty - history doesn't judge that excellent thinking.

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