Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Worthwhile goal for a dusty relic

"University of Pennsylvania Museum director Richard M. Leventhal wants to bring antiquities into the future. Unfortunately, despite his museum's international reputation in anthropology and archaeology, the presentation of its collection is antiquated, dusty, tired. The place just doesn't have the whiz-bang appeal expected of a 21st-century science museum. That's why Penn is wise to embark on a yearlong master plan to improve the museum, led by noted British architect David Chipperfield. The goal is to re-envision the building, top to bottom. Sure, students still cherish field trips to see the "mummy museum," whose collections on Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Etruscans and Africans fit into world history curricula. But too often, these mummy trips represent students' sole visit to the West Philadelphia landmark, which opened in 1887. 'The museum has tended not to connect itself with the public as well as it's needed to,' Leventhal said recently. 'We're not here to display art. We're here to talk about human societies' ".
See the Philadelphia Inquirer website above for more details.

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