the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

History Repeats itself... sort of

The Portland Vase

The museums in England are amazing. The British Museum is one of the greatest places I have ever been. I saw the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, incredible works of art and artifacts from all over the world - and all free to the public. Despite my appreciation for the museums, I was still very entertained by this story...

Have you ever heard of the Portland Vase? According to the British Museum, where the vase - such as it is - resides today:

"The Portland Vase is arguably the most famous and certainly the most influential piece of ancient glass in the world."
- The British Museum

Very nice. Lovely, famous, influential, old glass. However, the following information was much more entertaining to me: In 1845, while in the British Museum (where it is now), the vase was smashed by a drunken museum goer, necessitating skillful and painstaking restoration. How embarrassing for them.

Fortunately, in our modern world of plexiglass covers and laser alarms this sort of thing would never happen again in a major museum. Or would it? This story would suggest that there is still a long way to go when it comes to protecting ancient vases in British Museums. Well, I guess despite all the museums in the world, it's still true that "all come from dust, and to dust all {eventually} return".


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