That awkward moment when one of the tour group might know more about the subject than the tour guide.
I'm fairly sure that people who made metal holders to burn ritual incense had fire...
I know that the past is a foreign place and that not everyone has had the privilege of being educated in how things were. This lass though was a gift through the exhibition, as in seconds she could veer from intelligent and excited interest, to questing thought, to a question that left you doing a double take in case she was winding her mates up.
One of her mates pointed out that if Egyptians burnt things, they must have had fire, and conversation regarding "rubbing things together" followed.
Some of you reading this perhaps have the kind of role and mindset which mean that you spend as much time photographing the labels and interpretive boards at visitor attractions, as you do photographing the attraction.
Be it great ideas to steal, or the failed ideas you want to punish your graphic design friends with (I'm looking at you museum at the Globe Theater...) some signs just need a wider audience to appreciate them.
Here's a gem from The Rock of Gibraltar. On a recent holiday I was left pondering - Did they plan to remove the older sign? Did they originally plan to locate the new sign in a different location? Did different people not communicate clearly about the sign's contents and/or location? Did they think the extra few mm in size would help people read the text on the copy of the sign shown on the sign, as opposed to the original sign?
As an aside go and explore the Great Siege Tunnels if ever at the rock, as you don't have flipping Barbary macaques trying to nick things off you, they're cool, they contain far fewer tourists, and they are a very genuinely interesting bit of history.
"Let me get this right. Our ancient ancestors created vast and cunning wood and stone edifices to enable them to plot astronomical and seasonal events with great accuracy, yet with all the benefits of modern technology, you mistakenly celebrated the winter solstice a day early?"
At least they owned up to their mistake!
Some of us really would have been put to wool gathering had we been alive in an earlier time...
A special tour for a local adult special needs group.
It gets extra special if some of the people on it can't actually speak any English, and the guide is desperately trying to understand their stutter!
Apparently, a good time was still had by all.
Theft risk high, so Arts Council offer no-nonsense blunt advice.
Follow link, or, in brief:
The National Crime Agency are aware of an imminent threat of theft of collections across the UK. They are aware of a group who have made reconnaissance visits to a number of museums and other venues across the UK. It is thought that smaller, more portable items will be targeted rather than items like large paintings.
William Brown, National Security Adviser for the Arts Council then offered this advice via email:
The advice may seem obvious, but we can get complacent in our habits and checks.
And it can happen anywhere, as a friend at the end of the working day recently spotted a carefully unbolted and propped patio window inside the venue they work at, presumably by someone planning to return later to try and carefully open it from the outside.
For many, especially smaller, local museums, theft and damage from it can be an expensive issue to put right when funds are already tight, so vigilance from the start is the biggest step.
When someone vandalises your ancient monument, would you want to:
A) Imprison them.
B) Fine them.
C) Get them to do community service on the site.
D) Get them to write a research paper on the site, so they have to look into it's history, religious and societal significance, and then explain what they have learnt about it.
Kudos to the manager of Serpent Mound, and the local Assistant Prosecutor, who think that A is unlikely, B won't change any attitudes, so want C and D to happen.
Daniel Coleman Dargavell allegedly jumped the curb in the parking lot in the middle of the night over the Fourth of July weekend and attempted to drive a large white pickup over a 2,000-year-old Adena Mound.
Prison time – if he's found guilty – is a long shot, said Armstrong of the prosecutor's office, who is unsure whether he'll ask that Dargavell do any time.
"Someone else, a family member likely, is going to pay the restitution up front," Armstrong said, "but I want (Dargavell) to have a significant investment in this, that would mostly be community service."
Sometimes, when things like this happen, the party that was vandalized never wants to see the vandal again, Armstrong said.
Not Serpent Mound manager Goodwin.
"In fact, they were already coming up with a list of things they want him to do," Armstrong said.
Story pulled from here.
Your venue is busy busy right now with kids and tourists (at least, I hope so, and I hope they spend some pennies there too) so make sure you keep the good times with you whenever you start to grit your teeth and marvel at the depth of human ignorance!
Sometimes small things happen which remind you why you love working in the museum and heritage sector, sometimes a situation comes out better than you expect, and sometimes... well, sometimes you're given a reason to hide a smile. On the days when a football is being kicked about in the art gallery, or you think all of the signage has turned invisible, take a second to hark back, and put your game face on with a glow in your heart.
As a bit of a stickler for correct use of language, here's a stunning example of something gone a bit wrong.
I first thought "They've discovered Polish Archaeologists in Armenia? Dead? Lost? What?"
Followed by "ah, that makes sense.
Then laughing at: "Other findings of Polish archaeologists are evidence of the fighting and cruelty."
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