I love being able to see artifacts and mummies but every time I do I can’t help but feel a little guilty. Seeing artifacts displayed in museums is why we go to them and it educates us, and on the other hand you’re taking something away from where someone wanted it to stay. Finding something that has been lost or is a missing part is different to going somewhere to take something just to put it on display.
Grave sites are a perfect example of this. There is a certain amount of disrespect in digging up someones grave or taking them out of their resting place, which is probably sacred, along with their belongings so that we can look at them through glass. My mother always told me to put things back where I found them when I’m done, what’s wrong with that? Sure, they are being preserved and this way we can all enjoy history, but if you were laid to rest in a place where you thought was safe, would you want someone digging you up and putting you on display?
Shipwrecks are another example of this. If a ship has been wrecked for centuries and it is found, do you haul it up, where it could be destroyed more, and spend massive amounts of money trying to preserve it? or do you leave it where it has always been? There is something in diving down to where a wrecked ship is to see where it finally rested and to experience what has happened to it over the years.
Would the Titanic be the same if we put it in a museum?
It’s a hard decision to make, preserve someone or something in a museum? or leave them where meant to stay and let nature take it’s course? How can we really be sure that taking it from where it was is going to ensure the artifacts survival, things can just as easily be ruined in a museum.