Thursday, June 30, 2011

Etruscans at Nat Geo: Cultural Exchange for Cash

Today, I had the opportunity to visit an exhibit about the Etruscans at the National Geographic Society. See

The artifacts came from the Cambi Collection and National Museum of Archaeology, Florence, Italy, but the exhibit itself seems to be some sort of commercial venture. See

There were some interesting artifacts, but most of them were frankly second rate. The interpretive material was fine, but no brochures were to be found anywhere. And it cost $8 to enter ($6 for Nat Geo members).

This is still all fine and good, but I hope the Italians and the State Department are not going to claim this exhibit was sent as a gesture of good will due to the MOU imposing import restrictions on Italian cultural goods. Instead, the motivation appears to be collecting cold, hard cash.

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