Lending treasures

Neil MacGregor, the director of the British museum, is a national Treasure. He has been very good for that grand old institution giving it a fresh face and making it an untold success after year of seeping decline. His ‘History of the World in 100 Objects’ is a fab bit of radio as well as being a great exhibition. His cooperation with avant-garde artist and transvestite Grayson Perry (Perry accessed the BM stores and reinterpreted some ancient works in his unique style).

Greyson Perry as Claire

Greyson Perry as Claire

Recently Angela Merkel, German Chancellor has had a hand in poaching him for the Humboldt based on his Germany: Memories of a Nation exhibition. It is the way of things, this lending of treasures around.

It is a touch ironic when the BM has steadfastly refused to countenance any form of loan, let alone a return, of the Elgin Marbles.

elginThese exquisite Greek artefacts are, under one interpretation, a piece of British looting and under another the result of a shrewd bit of retailing by Lord Elgin in the 19th Century. They are extraordinary, very beautiful and very Greek yet the BM has them and is in no hurry to let Greece reunite them, even temporarily.

To me that is a shame. I understand, in situations where, for example, the Taliban is desecrating world treasures such as the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001 or similar is at risk then,ย a sharing of the world’s beauty is difficult.


But the presumption should surely be to share. We, in the UK, were just lucky that we got there first; maybe we were enlightened first too, with our passion to collect and keep. But just because we hold these things doesn’t mean we should hang on willy-nilly.

Of course a lot of lending already goes on and we benefit from the reciprocity of like minded institutions. And more should be done.

So, to start the ball rolling and taking my lead from the loan of Mr MacGregor, I propose that any country that wants to ‘Rent a Royal’ should make application to me, as agent for the House of Windsor. All you have to do is give them a palace, a couple of squat-legged dogs and a bit of bling and they’re yours. Feeding is at your discretion but they tend to like eating off gold and if you are bringing guests they enjoy a linear introduction approach. Bowing and scraping are optional but encouraged. Fawning is, however, out as we will eventually have them back and they must remain democratically subservient.

If there is competition we will go to best bids. And Harry, since he is currently up for stud, carries a premium. Each rental will only permit three coverings a year, or one orgiastic strip snooker as you prefer.

So what am I bid? And I always throw in an Andrew, or equivalent sponger..

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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26 Responses to Lending treasures

  1. Charli Mills says:

    I’m going to take up a collection and see if we can rent Harry. He’d have a fine time in northern Idaho! I understand the Royals have a ranch in Wyoming. And truth to this rumor?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trifflepudling says:

    I’m a Royalist and think HM is A1 fab, so I would like to make a bid for her! As far as I know, she likes eating out of Tupperware. She goes to bed early, so wouldn’t be in the way of one’s nightlife.

    Difficult re. the Elgin Marbles etc. If you send one lot of antiquities back to the country of origin, wouldn’t all countries be under a bit of an obligation to return anything they’ve ‘acquired’ from round the world? And maybe that just isn’t feasible, given the expense, logistics and so on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I’ve just realised I’ve responded to the wrong comment! Hope you can work out what I was trying to say!


      • trifflepudling says:

        Don’t worry, I do that sort of thing all the time and worked it out! You’d probably been sat at the screen too long …

        The mummified cat at the BM is one of my fave things.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sacha Black says:

    I have no desire to rent a royal. But I would rather like to see Tutenkamun back here – mum said there was a huge exhibition of mummies when she was younger and it was mind blowing. Are you in the market for renting mummies? would love to visit the pyramids too actually, though I’m not sure I could bring myself to walk through those tight corridors *shudder*.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll rent Peter Phillips please, but probably for all the wrong reasons ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. roweeee says:

    Now, your comments about Harry on my blog are truly resonating. Yes, the girls would definitely be interested in renting Harry. After the success of the humble Tasmanian Mary in wedding the Danish Prince, they all think they can not only land a Prince but get him down the aisle as well.
    Rather than renting a royal, I’d actually like to offer the Royal Family a bit of a cultural dog exchange. I thought I could swap Lady over with one of the Queen’s corgi’s for a little while. The Queen won’t have a clue what hit her. Lady will be sharing all those resistant fleas of hers, which I lovingly refer to as the “Tenterfield Travellers” and I could just see the look on Her Majesty’s face when Lady helps herself to a rabbit during afternoon tea. The Queen would not be amused but I would be!! xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Autism Mom says:

    Lol, not sure what I would do with a Royal… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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