5 pages/≈1375 words
Critical Analysis Regarding Church Funds Usage And Distribution (Article Critique Sample)
Article critical analysis regarding church funds usage and distribution.source..
The article “Whose culture is it” is written by Kwame Anthony Appiah and it is about analysis of different cultures both in the past as well as in the modern world. Appiah talks about Walter Benjamin who explains cultural treasures in a horrific manner. According to Appiah, the modern world is characterized by Benjamin’s provocation. Currently modern museum curators have increasingly became unaware about the significance and origins regarding the named cultural treasures, particularly those originating from global south and those that have archaeological aspect. Appiah also includes several incidents whereby people have faced the law for illegal possession of materials and artifacts belonging to museums. The rationale of this paper is to write a critical response paper based on the article “Whose culture is it?” by Appiah Kwame Anthony.
The examples of incidents of illegal handling of museum artifacts include the Italian discussion regarding the stance of artifacts from Metropolitan and Getty Museum, trial in Rome involving a former Getty Museum curator who had unlawfully taken objects from Italy, Greece lawsuit against Getty for being in possession of four museum objects, and government of Peru against Yale University for having 5000 artifacts from Machu Picchu in the 1900s. These issues have cropped up recently, although they happened long time ago. Also, Appiah in his article captures how the famous global curators and collectors who were once recognized for their perseverance and perceptiveness, are currently commonly criticized as receivers of or traffickers of stolen commodities. The global famous museums celebrated as encyclopedic museums and also as redoubts of cultural gratitude, are currently alleged of pillage and plunder. Appiah explains how the vice of plunder that prevailed in his local town of Asante in Ghana where the artifacts that were amassed by Asante Kingdom was looted by sir Garnet Wolseley, British general. The looting included an exceptional treasury of artifacts and art. Moreover, Appiah brings out the true picture of how the people were unaware of the significance of the cultural treasures, where he talks about Baden-Powell who evidently held the notion that the removal and inventorying of the treasures under General Garnet was a legal relocation of property. Baden believed that was collecting rather than looting.[ James B Cuno, Whose Culture?: The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012), 71.]
The scandals regarding illegal looting of museum artifacts in Africa continued even with commencement of European empires. Appiah also highlights several incidents like Mali that was unable to safeguard digging and exportation of magnificent sculpture created in old town of Djenne-jeno. Mali was unable to pass laws to safeguard illegal archaeological digs and publishing where a lot of Djenne-jeno fine terra-cottas were dug in the 1980s, especially following discoveries of the archeologists like Susan Mcintosh and Rederick. The beautiful terra-cottas were purchased by North America and Europe collectors who were greatly attracted by those artifacts. Therefore, since they were unlawfully dug from archaeological sites, people cannot learn most of what they could wish to know about that culture. That is, what people could have learnt if the sites were conserved by cautious archaeology might never be known. This can be attributed as some of the aspects that made Appiah to think of writing the article, since culture treasures were used wrongly and ended up in wrong places instead of conserving history.
Laws were generated to curb unlawful smuggling of stolen art following the government of Mali and United States guidance by archaeologists. The ready market for Djenn-jeno sculpture greatly ceased. However, the estimated loss by the time of stoppage was huge, since the artifacts were illegally sold from Mali. In regard to the high demand for sculptures, it is understandable why many Mali citizens willingly exported their “natural heritage.” Appiah also talks about the current scandals that also include pillaging of archaeological sites. Art worth millions of dollars have been illegally taken from Nigerian Museum with the help of museum insiders. Dealers in London and New York have also helped in the exportation of the artifacts according to Ekpo Eyo who was a former National Museum head. The artifacts were rich in Nigerian Art and thus, they greatly attracted the dealers. Appiah reveals great evil and mistake where people are willing to trade their cultural heritage for money. There is great impact since there will be a mix up of cultures regardless of being lucrative business. The impact is both on the economic and cultural to the country which loose artifacts.
Appiah updates the audience on the evolution of protest against pillaging of stolen artifacts. Doctrines have been set up regarding possession of various types of cultural property via several declarations by UNESCO among other global agencies. The doctrine proposes that cultural property should remain to be property of its culture. If an individual come from a particular culture, the artifact ought to be their cultural partrimony and vice versa. This will help people to understand the significance of cultural treasures and the need to safeguard it. The author also highlight the significance of cultural partrimony where he considers two definitions. One as a cultural artifact and the other as a cultural product. Therefore, according to Appiah cultural partrimony to one country is not merely that country’s nationals input to human culture, but it should be worldwide civilization. It entails all the artifacts of a country and though other people might think highly of it, ultimately it belongs to that country. What belongs of a country partrimony is those things that prevailed before their current state. It is not clear what the sculptures or artifacts were created for, but it is a fact that they were not created for a specific country alone. What people in the modern society aspire to safeguard existed before they developed, by people of communities that is extinct. Appiah proposes that just like people die when their bodies die, cultures can also become extinct. However, it is not logical to think a culture have no descendants. But is a culture civilzation ceases to exist and its inhabitants turn to something else, there is no logic of having particular claim on those artifacts, deeply buried underground. Also, even if people have an exceptional proposal, that has nothing to do with that culture where most of the inhabitants dwell.[ James B Cuno, Whose Culture?: The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012), 74.]
In the article, Appiah also proposes that the issue of biological de...
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