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  • Thursday, December 4, 2014

    The British Museum and King's Cross Station

    My next museum was the British Museum

    I saw a lot here, but I came to see one thing in particular...

    The Rosetta Stone

    Along with Egyptian hieroglyphics, which nobody on earth could read at the time of it's discovery, the same text had been chiseled into this stone in Demotic Egyptian and the common Greek language. This made it possible to decipher the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics and essentially give a voice to people who had been dead and silent for thousands of years.

    People like King Amenhotep III, ruler of Egypt around 1386 to 1351 BC, give or take a couple of years, when Egypt reached it's peak of artistic and international power. This sculpture stood in his mortuary temple west of the Nile at Thebes. If he had a voice, I think he'd be saying, "How did I get in Britain?" 

    A British friend described this as a museum for all the things Britain stole from other countries. Although nowhere did I think of that more than when seeing all of the relics taken from the Parthenon.

    I can't help but think these would look better with the actual Parthenon, but I know if they weren't here, they would certainly be in worse condition and may have been utterly destroyed.

    This piece of the Parthenon's marble frieze, which filled this large room, would be really hard to see if not brought down to eye-level. And I suppose it's good that they are being so well preserved here at the museum, but it takes some balls for Britain to say, sorry Greece, but these are ours now.

    This is the King’s Library, the former home of the library of King George III. I could be locked in this room for years and never run out of stuff to keep me entertained. There are so many old books and artifacts in cases and drawers to look through.

    I have wanted to see the Easter Island statues since I was a teenager. This was originally painted red and white, but it washed off in the sea. Actually I learned that most of these ancient statues, including those in the Parthenon exhibit, were originally painted. That fascinated me. It's like finding out that most dinosaurs had feathers. Someday I may actually get there, but for now, I'll have to be satisfied seeing this one stolen by Britain. 

    Alright, I'm being to hard on the British and am oversimplifying the history. There is a record of the villagers on Easter Island actually helping to load the four ton statue onto a raft. Honestly, I loved this museum and would not change a thing. Besides, not everything in the museum was taken from other countries, like the Lewis Chessmen for example. I wish I would have taken more photos of these. They were probably made in Norway, in about AD 1150-1200, but were found on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.

    Holding his hand out so inviting like that next to a sign that says, do not touch. It's entrapment.

    Although a mile and a half further away than the closest London Underground station outside the British Museum, I walked to King's Cross Station

    It's a beautiful train hub, but that's not why I walked the extra distance.

    Like the dozen or so teenage girls waiting in line for a photo op, I came to see this cart between platforms 9 and 10.