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Pirate Soul - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Pirate Soul
From mudguts, with additional commentary by yours truly.

There's a new pirate museum that's opened up in Key West where upon entry, visitors are greeted by the words, "Welcome to Port Royal."

A few years back, I was fortunate enough to go to Port Royal when I visited Jamaica. I had hoped to stumble upon a raucous little town that had barely shed it's past as pirate haven. I was young, and rum and wenching seemed a worthy way to spend a very hot afternoon. Of course, I was disillusioned. Today, Port Royal is kind of a quiet place, and this transition may have to do with the passage of time, or it may have something to do with the fact that most of the town that existed in the Golden Age got sucked underwater in an earthquake in 1692. Wrath of God was cited by contemporaries as a likely cause.

There is a small museum there devoted to piracy and privateering (which were to thank for much of the town's early commercial success), but because Port Royal specifically, and Jamaica generally, are not very rich places, I'm guessing that the quality of the artifacts doesn't really compare to the collection that's been gathered by a wealthy American. Stuff like this makes me angry, but then again, I'm the kind of person who upon visiting the British Museum couldn't kept thinking, "Why isn't this in (Egypt/Persia/Greece/Japan/etc...)?" I'm weird like that.
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Comments
khep From: khep Date: January 14th, 2005 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
*weeps*

I need to go!!!!
komos From: komos Date: January 14th, 2005 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think we all need to go.

...and we might as well schedule jaunts to Port Royal and Tortuga while we're at it.
From: corvus_coronis Date: January 14th, 2005 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
"or it may have something to do with the fact that most of the town that existed in the Golden Age got sucked underwater in an earthquake in 1692. Wrath of God was cited by contemporaries as a likely cause."

There were no tsunami appeals for pirates back then :'(
komos From: komos Date: January 14th, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
The 17th century wasn't exactly known for its great humanitarian movements...
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komos From: komos Date: January 21st, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The funny thing is that either argument is largely self-referential. Why is the British Museum the safest place for the treasures of Egypt? Because the experts are at the British Museum. All well and good, but it's fairly likely that if they were centralized in Cairo that there would be experts in the preservation and security of antiquities there as well or perhaps instead.

This is not to say that I believe that everything should remain in the hands of the culture/region that produced it. There's a great deal to be said for cultural exchange and the understanding that comes from it. I do think that it's absurd that a number of cultures, simply by virtue of having been occupied during the age of imperialism, are now forced to travel to 'The West' in order to view their own history.

I just keep imagining just how angry Americans would be if the Declaration of Independence had been captured and was now on display in the British Museum...
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