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How museums can help end the culture wars

Extremes on right and left are attacking our museums. We need to defend them says V&A director Tristram Hunt

By Tristram Hunt   November 2020

History wars on a plate: a 17th-century ceramic basin from Puebla, Mexico, borrows the Habsburg double-headed eagle motif. Is it cultural appropriation or supplication to an imperial power? © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

On the lower ground floor of the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington is a small, 15th-century beechwood casket, mounted with gilt copper alloy straps, and painted with four pairs of seated tawny lions. It is an object of deep beauty elucidating the history of northern European…

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