I recently put up a blog post, Whose Heritage? discussing the decision by the British Arts Council to ban the export of George Stubbs’s paintings of a kangaroo and a dingo, which the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra planned to buy.
After I posted I was tweeted by Rebekah Higget, Curator of History of Science and Technology at the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
Our subsequent correspondence is here (and available to anyone backtracking through our Twitter feeds):
Clearly a good sport, she ended: ‘Ha! Everyone loves the kangaroo (poor dingo!)’ Continue reading
Posted in australian history, biography, european history, historiography
Tagged British Arts Council, Canada, George Stubbs, James Wolfe, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, Rebekah Higgett, Royal Geographical Society, Thomas Baines, Waverley Criteria
Many countries have laws to protect any heritage objects in private hands from being sold out of the country. Recently the issue arose in Britain regarding a ring once owned by Jane Austen. Last year it was bought at a London auction by the American pop singer Kelly Clarkson, who naturally planned to take it home with her to America. The private owners have a right to sell their own property, but the British government stepped in to put a temporary export ban on the ring so that the British public would have time to raise the same amount of money (£152,450) to buy it for the Jane Austen Museum.
Now Austen is British to her bootstraps. So British, in fact, that she has just become the new female face on the £10 note.
But what about a kangaroo?