until the dumb dies down

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so i’m finally reading a book i was assigned my third year in college but it didn’t have anything to do with my paper which was like 45% of my grade in that class and our essay tests were super broad, open-ended questions so why would i do more work than i have to, right? but now i can’t stop thinking about cultural artifacts and how they should be handled.

like, if a sculpture is unearthed in nigeria by a british archaeologist and is purported to have been created by a group of people that doesn’t exist anymore (as in their biological¬†descendants don’t recognize themselves as part of that group anymore)—and the nigerian government sells the piece to the archaeologist who found it because it’s worth a ton of money that could do fulfill more pressing needs than a sculpture—does anyone have the right to tell them they can’t do that?

but art is really important for lots of reasons, right? (a long history of colonialism/imperialism doesn’t help anything either) ugh.

and it gets even more complicated with things like strangely well-preserved viking ship wreckage found off the coast of like ireland or something, because like, which part of scandinavia does it go to? 

and omg it’s a really good thing i didn’t read this in college because i probably would have spent WAY too much time thinking about this stuff instead of like, “where am i gonna get my next meal?”

Filed under the book is cosmopolitanism by kwame anthony appiah it's good reads pretty quickly but lots of food for thought