The Lewis Chessmen
July 18, 2010 4:17 PM Subscribe
The Lewis Chessmen are to tour Scotland.
posted by Coobeastie (28 comments total)
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As part of the tour they will spend five months the islands where they were discovered. Digging the Dirt's review of the exhibition
gives an idea of what you're missing, and the chess pieces are part of the BBC's History of the World in 100 objects
. They're beautiful pieces
from a beautiful place
, but underneath this the chess pieces are at the centre of some political wrangling over object repatriation. In a more low-key version of the arguments over the Elgin marbles
some are demanding that the British Museum should return the 82 pieces they own to Scotland.SNP MSP Alasdair Allan:
"The Scottish Government is maintaining negotiations with the British Museum with the aim of ensuring that the chessmen return to Scotland permanently. I believe such a deal should include an exhibition of some of the pieces in Lewis. Historic artefacts always mean a hundred times more in context, and the Lewis Chessmen have always been a symbol for the islands."
Dr David Caldwell, exhibition curator:
"Once you start repatriating objects from museums, they're all the losers. I frankly think it's important that major museums, whether they're here or in North America or in Greece or wherever else, ought to be able to show to their people and their visitors human endeavour in different parts of the world. The British Museum is a major international museum and lots of people see them there, and that is the name of the game."