Reasons not to waste your time in museums
Few dare to criticize Museums and recommend that third parties spend their time on funnier things. It would seem an atrocious attack on human intelligence, through the entities that symbolize the conservation and study of the most valuable treasures and varied manifestations of the human intellect.
This is not the case with Oliver Smith with his 21 reasons why I hate museums, in The Telelegraph, Or James Durston Why I hate museums in the CNN, authentic calls of attention to the excesses, hypocrisy and a climate of snobbery that surrounds this entire industry. Both are regular visitors to museums around the world.
We will make a somewhat free synthesis and interpretation of his 21 reasons.
1. We only go because they tell us to go
The Travel Guides are filled with listings for museums and art galleries, each less appealing than the last. It's what sensitive sophisticated travelers do and want! An excess of offers and many of very little interest to the general public. The author gives an example of the guide to DK Eyewitness to Budapest. If we open it "at a glance" chapter, the first section is dedicated to the "best" museums and galleries in the city. There are things like theGolden Eagle Pharmacy Museum and the Gizi Bajor Memorial Museum. Who in their right mind wants to spend their precious time learning about the life and times of a Hungarian actress?
Bulgarian actress Gizi Bajor, Image: partyponty.hu
2. We would be happier doing something else
Before stepping inside a museum, ask yourself - and answer honestly - if that is really what you want to do. The author gives as an example a recent day trip to Florence in which a colleague told him that in no way should he leave the city without visiting the Uffizi. They went and the wait time to get in was 45 minutes. Very tired, he asked his friend: What do you really want to do? " They left the gallery, bought a bottle of red wine, two cardboard cups of coffee, and spent the next few hours hanging out on the Arno, enjoying a conversation, while looking longingly at the Ponte Vecchio. It was wonderful.
Ponte Vecchio Florence
3. They are boring
They are cemeteries of things. Tombs of inanimate things. Its cavernous rooms and deep corridors reverberate soft sounds of dead tourists shuffling and yawning employees.
Among other experiences, Oliver Smith recounts a recent trip to Bruges, where he visited theGroeninge museum from the city. His collection consisted almost entirely of biblical scenes by Renaissance and Baroque artists. To his eyes - and to those of many others, - it all seemed the same. With each new room he saw, his disinterest grew more and more accelerated his pace ... You can see a list of the 20 most boring Museums, below you have two of them dedicated to pencils and dog collars.
4. Because this below is considered a "worthwhile" museum:
The Pencil Museum in Keswick.
The longest pencil in the world - The Pencil Museum, Keswick http://www.pencilmuseum.co.uk/
5. Or this one too:
The Museum of Dog Collars in Kent.
The Dog Collar Museum, Kent http://www.leeds-castle.com/Attractions/The+Dog+Collar+Museum
6. The atmosphere is funereal
Tourists shuffling silently through hospital corridors and museum security guards, bored and waiting to jump on anyone who dares to laugh, send a mobile text message, eat a cookie or the unforgivable act of taking a photo. They forget that museums are for the public.
7. We have no idea what we are looking at
Except for a few connoisseurs, museum visitors are utterly ignorant about, say, oriental tapestry, or ancient Egyptian pottery. However, museums - even the best funded ones - offer a worrying level of knowledge, offering painful and scant information about the exhibits. How many people will be “enlightened” by an inscription that says “clay pot, 1200-1300, Russia”?
Even the museum staff are actually clueless. In 2005, street artist Banksy managed to hang a fake prehistoric rock art piece, depicting a caveman with a shopping cart, on the walls of the British Museum. Three days passed before anyone noticed.
8. Interactive displays are useless, and often out of order
Usually they put them to justify the renewal of the subsidies. His presence is a magnet for bored children who are eager to find something that is culturally close to them and with just a glance they are fed up. If we ever test interactive screens, we find that they are superficial and irrelevant - designed so that no one knows anything about it - and the knobs, controls and keys are dirty and sticky from too many Coca-Cola fingers.
9. Screaming children
Museum of the mummies, Guanajato, Mexico. Image: oddee.com
An example of the lack of educational interest in museums of all kinds is the frequent presence of desperately bored children, running, screaming (as if they saw a mummy), picking their noses, and generally annoying the rest of the visitors. In this case the security guards are clueless. Maybe it's time to take out the camera, take pictures of everything and get puffed up to eat cookies ...
10. Your parents ...
Or let us not say his parents fervently - but extremely irritating - reading and interpreting the screens aloud, and saying to their children, condescendingly, "This is not so much fun, Juan" (he does!).
11. There is nothing fun for adults
Why is museum innovation only used for the little ones? Do you really think adults are sufficiently entertained by a well-ordered collection of pewter spoons?
12. They are too crowded
In large part because most people stand in an excruciating queue to see the only painting they have heard about and want to take a picture of how much a trophy they have won. It is not uncommon to see scenes like the one below at the Louvre:
Queue at the Louvre to photograph the Mona Lisa (Photo: Getty) taken from The Telegraph
13. Museums cost a fortune of public money
Many of the biggest and best museums in the world depend on public funds. For example, the Natural History Museum in London needed 82 million pounds ($ 128 million) to function in the period 2012/2013, and 56% came from government grants. The Smithsonian has been financed for a sum of 811.5 million dollars (year 2013) and the government assumes 65% of its total costs. These museums appear to have impressive returns for their cities and countries. But not in all cases this is strictly true and in any case the diligence of their services must be considered.
14. And despite that, museums are expensive
Visitors to the 9/11 Museum in New York are expected to pay $ 24. The entrance to the Vatican Museums in Rome costs € 16.00 and for the Hermitage in Amsterdam the amount is € 15.
The exorbitant entry fees for special exhibitions in London's "free entry" museums also deserve a mention. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, for example, currently at Tate Modern, costs an arm and a leg: £ 18.
15. Most objects are kept out of public view
For example, only one percent of the collection of the more than eight million works in the British Museum is on display.
16. People have started taking selfies in museums.
There was even a #MuseumSelfie day last year. It is hateful but they constitute an act of rebellion and an attempt to make them fun and public.
17. It's all on the Internet, almost with better visibility
Through the wonderful Google Art Project You can see thousands of masterpieces from galleries around the world in amazing high resolution, without encountering the aforementioned selfie takers, screaming kids, bored repressing guards and endless queues. In addition to infinite information on any subject that we do not know.
Google-Art- Project. Image: www.engadget.com
18. Gift shops and cafes are scams
No entrance to a museum is complete without being invited to strategically exit through its gift shop, where you will be given the option of purchasing prohibitively priced postcards and mugs. Even the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City couldn't resist, when it first opened, offering tacky memorabilia, like a tender "Search and Rescue Dog Plush“, A US-shaped cheese plate (with heart symbols marking the spots where the hijacked planes crashed), and a 9/11 commemorative umbrella (“ Show your support for 9/11 with this folding commemorative umbrella… ”).
19. Sometimes the works are fake (in China)
Earlier this year the Lucheng Museum, in China's Liaoning Province, was investigated by police as thousands of forgeries were found among its collection of 8,000 items. And last year the Jibaozhai Museum (60 million yuan - £ 6.4 million), located in Jizhou, a city in the northern province of Hebei, closed its doors amid accusations that many of its cultural treasures were fakes.
Among the most conspicuous errors were works engraved with writing supposedly dating back more than 4,000 years. However, according to a report published in the Shanghai Daily newspaper, simplified Chinese characters appeared in the writing, which only came into widespread use in the 20th century. The collection also contained a five-color porcelain vase from the “Tang Dynasty” even though this technique was only invented hundreds of years later, during the Ming Dynasty. The museum owner would later have died of "an anger-induced heart attack."
An exhibition at the Jibaozhai Museum, which closed last year Image: The Telegraph
20. Sometimes they are modern:
This, by Barnett Newman, sold for $ 44 million (Imegen: Getty on Telegraph)
21 ... and sometimes they are ridiculous:
From Man Ray L’Enigme d’Isidore Ducasse (Image: Tate Modern on Telegraph)