Sunday, February 13, 2011

Risking my life to save the Hirshhorn?

A break from our regularly scheduled blog about museum exhibits to reflect on current events...

I was watching the recent happenings in Cairo, and one of the images that stuck with me is that of people standing in front of the museum containing Egyptian antiquities, linking arms and preventing looters from destroying the artifacts. I admire those people, who were willing to put their lives on the line to save these treasures.

It made me wonder: would I be willing to do the same? If people were rioting on the Mall, would I rush to the Freer to link arms with other art lovers to save the Peacock Room? I'd like to think that I would, that I would rate concern for my own safety below concern for the objects that have given me so many wonderful experiences over the lunchtimes of the past year, and that enrich the lives of others when they come to visit. Easy for me to say (or blog) of course; it's not terribly likely that I'll be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice to save our nation's collection of priceless objects from wild bands of looters, and that's a good thing. Still, I stand ready to offer my assistance.

As for the Hirshhorn, well, maybe you're on your own...

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