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Question: TMA 05 Discuss how views about the Benin plaques have changed, and how this has been reflected in their presentation in museums. You must include close analysis of at least one reading from Book 3 and one plate from the Illustration Book in your answer.

Answer: The Benin plaques have been viewed as controversial ever since their discovery in the late 19th century. The manner in which the museums of Europe, and private collectors, came into possession of the artworks has been, and remains, the focus of debate surrounding the legal and moral right of ownership. With the passing of time the conversation within the debate has shifted from a blinkered colonial right of superiority, to a more informed and enlightened consideration of the ramifications of African craftsmanship. This has led to an inevitable evolution in how the relics are displayed and represented within the museum collections as opinions of their artistic, historical and cultural significance have changed. “The British Museum now displays …the Benin artworks, as an archive of global, intertwined histories” (Woods and Mackie, 2008, p.4)
Early interpretations of the significance...(short extract)

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  • Subject: The arts past and present
  • Course: AA100 The arts past and present
  • Level: Degree
  • Year: 1st
  • Mark: Not available
  • Words: 1603
  • Date submitted: December 31, 2016
  • Date written: November, 2015
  • References: Yes
  • Document type: Essay*
  • Essay ID: 7771

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