Looks like Simon Jenkins, Chairman of the National Trust, and journalist for the Guardian, is doing a good job of being a complete idiot. Check out this opinion piece inspired by the discovery of remains which may belong to the Mercian Princess Eadgyth.
It’s a rather vile rant, apparently aimed at the heritage, museum and science disciplines, about how terrible it is that we all take such an interest in objects. Apparently to a selfish, fetishistic level.
This from a man who chairs the National Trust, an organisation which does nothing if not fetish-ise standing structures, and who has been responsible for lots of ‘preservation’ and ‘save our heritage’ type organisations which continue to do that in largely irritating, privileged, middle/upper class ways. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, Simon.
I could go ahead and demolish pretty much every paragraph of this incredibly sad, pathetic, bitter, narrow-minded, reactionary and self-publicising article, but frankly the people in the ‘comments’ section have done a good job. Needless to say it seems that Simon knows pretty much nothing of modern museum practice, object theory, or Catholic practice, to name but a few missing areas in his expertise. However, I have to say I wish I was paid to write such tosh in a national newspaper – I could make a killing!
What a shame this man is responsible for the National Trust. No wonder half the rest of the heritage organisations in Britain hate it.