There I was going to start on the latest news about the Sekhemka statue and the perfidy of jumped up councillors, and then links started to connect in my brain. It was the fault of Melvyn Bragg yesterday evening in his documentary about the Peasants Revolt in 1381, when Wat Tyler had argued for equality and that 'the commons' should be shared. Well of course that came to an end pretty quickly with his death as he stood before young Richard 11 on the battlefield asking for written royal papers granting him his wishes. According to the tale, Tyler was hit on the head fatally by the mayor of London as he sat on his little horse before the king, and as he lay dying was publicly decapitated, and his head displayed on London Bridge.
The saying above comes from a contemporary of Tyler, the priest John Ball who was also radicalised by the revolt, and of course received the same treatment as Tyler. Thus history is written, those in power keep it and fine thoughts of a just an equal society, though they may be seen as exceptionally naive, are thrown out the window.
But to return to our common heritage, which we all thought lay in our museums, the battle is far from over for such perfidious councillors as Mackintosh who saw fit to sell the statue, Northampton Council has had its wrist slapped by the Arts Council who are refusing to fund or pay out grants for their two museums for the next few years.
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and Abington Park Museum will be excluded from a variety of Arts Council grants, funding and loan agreements following the controversial auction of its 4,500-year-old limestone Egyptian statue, Sekhemka, which raised £14 million at Christie’s.
Mike Pitts has come up with an idea for protecting - Blog the National Collection... maybe he had his tongue in cheek when he thought about the idea, but we all know in these days of capitalism, that there is an awful lot of public stuff the conservatives want to sell off, think about the forests last year and the public outrage made the government back off pretty quickly.
Tell people about the hidden gems in our museums.