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An advantageous proposition

Patrizio Gunning, L; (2017) An advantageous proposition. The Museum History Journal , 10 (2) pp. 233-241. 10.1080/19369816.2017.1328937. Green open access

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Abstract

When in 1820 consul Henry Salt offered to sell Egyptian antiquities, including the Seti sarcophagus, to the British Museum, the British government was unprepared for the substantial investment required. The subsequent acquisition of the sarcophagus by John Soane was the catalyst in changing the government attitude to collecting antiquities for the national museum. The acceptance of a proposal made in 1835 by Giovanni D’Athanasi to excavate in Egypt turned the government from a passive recipient into an active collector of antiquities for its museum. These episodes provide insights into the mechanisms by which the British Museum’s collection was established. They also illuminate how collecting by a national museum established an object habit that linked antiquities acquisitions, nationalism, and restitution demands in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Type: Article
Title: An advantageous proposition
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/19369816.2017.1328937
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/19369816.2017.1328937
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Museums, antiquities, restitution, heritage, provenance, collecting, Egypt, archaeology, consuls, nationalism, digital technologies
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060040
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