Monday, June 23, 2008

world cultural heritage: taking pictures in museums

in several important museums containing critical elements of world cultural heritage, it is forbidden to take pictures. the only sensible explanation for this is that the museum wants to exploit its collection even further by selling photographs in the museum shop.

also, in many of these museums, we are talking about art from centuries and centuries, deplaced from its original country (often robbed/stolen/looted in the days of colonialism).

i find myself increasingly angered by such museum policies.

from what does the museum, which is almost always publicly funded, derive its right to limit access to the imagery of its collection to those fortunate enough to be able to travel to the museum?

you can argue that other people can look at photographs in books, but the point is that most of these works cannot be found in books, or only very poorly photographed.

it is an example of closed source, where money and power motives of a few win out over benefit for all. shame on these museums. and shame on us for letting our legislation permit them to act like this.

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