Major European Museums


Room of headless statues, Louvre Museum,  Paris

While WOEFULTOURIST is not necessarily fond of visiting museums, he somehow feels guilty if he doesn’t visit the world famous ones when he finds himself in a major European city.

This in spite of the fact that after he does so, he can’t help but ask himself, “Why did I waste my time!”

It’s not that there isn’t something to learn, it’s just that it’s so hard to focus on any one thing when you have a million other artifacts vying for your attention.

It’s as if the museums are in competition with each other to see who can get the most stuff out of the vaults and onto the shelves.

The natural history museums are ridiculous when it comes to that.

Even the smallest bit of pottery somehow gets a place of honor in the display case.

WOEFULTOURIST has some advice for all the natural history museums.  To misquote and paraphrase that patriot, Buck Henry – “Give him completeness, or give him nothingness!”

Face it, no one cares about some pottery shard, misplaced bead, or broken arrow head.

If you have a complete, ornate piece of pottery – fine.  Once pieces are missing, leave it in the vault.  No one wants to see jugs with holes in them.

End of discussion.

Not that art museums are any better.

Enough with the 50 partially complete torsos of ancient Greek and Roman statues and busts.  Find one complete example and put it on display.

No tourist gets all worked up when they see a statue without limbs, noses, or other body parts.  So stop wasting space and the public’s time.

If you can’t find a complete example, then why not pull a Frankenstein and put together one from all of the different parts you have lying about.

Or if that’s too low tech for the art snobs, then why not use computer generated images to create perfect replacement parts so you can show intact figures the way they would have looked thousands of years ago.

Let’s get real, WOEFULTOURIST did not suffer thru an overnight flight with screaming kids, bad movies and seats that don’t conform to any of his body parts just so he could spend his hard earned cash to see a museum where he has to “imagine” what the thing actually looked like when it was intact.

Either give him the whole thing, or give him nothing at all.

And another thing, why do these major museums advertise about the fact that they have a world famous work of art, but when you go to try and see it, you can’t.

Want to see the Pieta at St Peters Basilica, in Vatican City?! Guess again.  (For the record, WOEFULTOURIST recognizes that St. Peters is not a museum, but he couldn’t think of a museum analogy that fit, so work with him.)

The Pieta sits in a little grotto in the Basilica, protected from the crowds and camera flashes with a bulletproof glass wall.  To add injury to insult, the glass isn’t even perfectly clear.  Meaning that any picture that you do take comes out all blurry and with a flash reflection in it.

Look, WOEFULTOURIST gets it.

You need to protect the originals.

But why not have an exact duplicate Pieta made out of fiberglass that the tourists can take clear pictures of.

Or how about one made out of concrete that you can touch, feel and crawl all over.

Or maybe create a Pieta cutout, where you insert your head into the hole that the Madonna’s head used to occupy, so you too can be part of a real work of art.

If that’s not art for the people, WOEFULTOURIST doesn’t know what is.


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Actor, writer and health inspector. I've been ensuring food safety and providing quality entertainment, for over two decades.
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