We’re gearing up for a fantastic long weekend in Paris but before we go I wanted to catch up on the ground we’ve covered thus far.
First of all, this pizza was fantastic. Never had egg on my pie and this dazzler came with ham, sausage, artichokes, bell peppers, etc. We got it at this cute little place in Summertown.
The Ashmolean though, to be frank, was a huge bust.
This was some of the most fascinating stuff from civilizations all over the globe. A lot of the pieces, particularly those from Ancient Greece, got me thinking about what it means to preserve what we have and how it’s vital in history to keep the artifacts we have available for study and accessible to the public.
We only fully understand where we are once we grasp that from which we grew as human civilization. But here is the dilemma: what happens when our reverence for relics from history, whether it’s Westminster Abbey or a fragment of an Eqyptian statue, jeopardizes their existence?
Glass cases and heavy security can only do so much for preserving the artifacts that we celebrate. They are our link to all that came before us, but when we have displays that see so much traffic through tourism and travels, these pieces are put at risk for wear and tear. So what’s the priority: public right to access art as civilized society, or the relics that are the proof of how we came to have civilized society in the first place?
The answer is in sustainable practices. There was a whole floor of the Ashmolean devoted to the discussion of preservation and restoration. Simply put, making use of what we have to strengthening our link to what was is the way to keep maintain our history through artifacts. Not necessarily sculpting a head for sculpture 1500 years after its creation, but finding ways to make what exists from antiquity last.
This idea of preserving what is for future generations to enjoy is also prevalent in Oxford’s city government. The city sees about 9 million visitors per year and that number is growing.
To keep Oxford in its resplendent traditional state, citizens have to abide by legislation that prioritizes the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags here are not free. It is highly encouraged that people bring their own reusable bags. In another example, the city’s transportation system is mostly dependent on buses.
In Columbus, when the population grows, we demand more roads to accommodate the traffic. Would we do the same if we were surrounded by churches and colleges that were hundreds of years old?
My eyelids are getting heavy so I’ll leave this post with some deep thoughts to discuss later. Suffice to say that no system can focus on either the quality of life for people today or the quality of life for people in the future exclusively; there has to be a balance.
Just like with people, the relics of our culture have to be an investment not just as today’s attraction but also as tomorrow’s vital resource for understanding.
To break up my usual long-winded-ness, behold more noms!
That’s all for now!