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Contesting Human Remains in Museum Collections: The Contribution of a Crisis of Cultural Authority

Tiffany Jenkins (London School of Economics)
In May 2008, 3 Egyptian mummies on display at Manchester University Museum, in Britain, were covered with a white sheet in the name of respect.
Without being requested to do so by the present day Egyptians, or the public; with whom the display is popular, professionals at the institution took it upon themselves to place a sheet over the unwrapped mummy of Asru, partially-wrapped Khary, and a child mummy.
“Asru covered”.
After protests from local audiences and the media, the museum uncovered the mummies but stated it wished to continue to conversation about how to respect the human remains.
This sensitivity, by professionals, about the display of ancient bodies is not an isolated case.…

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