It is a standing source of astonishment and amusement to visitors that the British Museum has so few British things in it: that it is a museum about the world as seen from Britain rather than a history focused on these islands.
If you don’t work yourself up into a fever of greed and covetousness in an art museum, you’re just not doing the job.
Uncritical semantics is the myth of a museum in which the exhibits are meanings and the words are labels. To switch languages is to change the labels.
A collection that embraces the whole world allows you to consider the whole world. That is what an institution such as the British Museum is for.
The distinction between a gallery and a museum is enormous. The gallery is about looking at a thing of beauty; the purpose of the activity is an aesthetic response. The museum is actually about the object that lets you get into somebody else’s life.