Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The vases on the left are two priceless and stunningly colourful Qing-dynasty vases from 17th century. These Chinese treasures were displayed on a windowsill in a staircase in the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge until last Wednesday.

Now they are in gazillion tiny pieces. A visitor, whose shoelaces were untied, tripped over and fell over the vases, which fell on the marble steps. (BBC News)

I just can't believe this could happen. I remember seeing these vases when I visited the museum in December. They are a part of the university museum's fine collection of oriental art and artefacts. There are two unbelievable things in this incident. First, how can anyone fall over to his own shoelaces, and what are the odds of this happening in the museum? Second, why weren't these vases in a glass cabinet or behind a protective glass?

The museum has announced that they'll try to glue the vases back together. They describe this incident as a "most unfortunate and regrettable accident", and say that they don't want to overreact and make their collections less accessible. Well, I do agree, even though I also think they are more accessible behind a glass than in small pieces on the conservation table.

This reminds me of an old ad by a Finnish mobile phone operator. In a tv-spot promoting their roaming services (that allow people to make calls when they travel abroad), a guy stands in a museum, calls home, and asks his friend: "How would you formulate the following sentence in Chinese: It was already broken when I got here". Zoom in to the floor, where a porcelain vase lies in small pieces...

(picture BBC)


mitluana said...

Onnea vaan liimaajille...
Tsiisus. No ei tarvii sitten ainakaan sen takia tulla Camiin, et näkis noi maljakot livenä.

Vaikka sinnehän tulee aina mielellään, kun on parempaa tekemistä, että ei valittamista. :)

[Ja joo ei, huolestuneille lukijoille tiedoksi: meillä ei ole suhdetta. Tai on, mutta ei sellasta.]

En muuten tiennyt, vanhaan postaukseen palatakseni, että ne sun naapurin bunheadit esiintyy vieläkin. Luulin, et ovat jo ihan eläköityneet.

Mum said...

Museojohtajan kommentista tuli mieleen Asterix Britanniassa (tms.) ja siellä kuvaus brittien
... kovin harmillista!