It remains to be seen

November 4, 2010

Museums are over-sensitive about displaying human remains and are hiding them away following demands for greater respect from minority groups such as pagans. So says a new book by Tiffany Jenkins, of the London School of Economics, which accuses museum staff of over-reacting and failing to satisfy museum audiences who remain fascinated by Egyptian mummies, skeletons and bog bodies. Dr Jenkins' book, Contesting Human Remains in Museum Collections: The Crisis of Cultural Authority, cites a poll of 1,000 people that found that about 90 per cent are comfortable with keeping remains in museums. "This is not driven by public demand, but professional insecurity," Dr Jenkins said. "Unfortunately it will penalise the millions of people who enjoy learning from the display of human remains."

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