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British Museum

British Museum 2009-08-09

NIKON D70 - 18 mm - f/8 - 1/250 sec - 200 iso

When I lived in Toronto, my tastes were distinctly aligned against the completed re-design of the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). Not that this is unusual by any stretch, as most Torontonians generally have a distinct taste on either side of the fence for or against it.

Something always seemed to perturb me about it, and I hadn't been sure why. The best analogy might be a fashion statement: a surface appearance that does nothing to enhance or describe an inner substance; a visual flourish diminishing in time with the changing fancy of a collective social taste; not more than a splashy facade. You will not find its interior photographed or revered like its exterior, for good reason.

Upon a revisit to one of my old and favourite cities of London, I snapped this in the newest part of the British Museum which opened in 2000. Seeing a functional use of natural light to enhance and define the inner qualities of old and new, helped clarify for me what has always annoyed me about the ROM.

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