This is totally random, I know. The new Greek and Roman wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, (pictured below, left) has a bunch of great (old) art and artifacts and articles have been written about verifying the provenance of such things. I went there the week the wing officially opened and took this photo of one of the beautiful nude male sculptures with a missing member. Recently I wrote about Napoleon's thang being lopped off and how his body part is a modern-day relic. What has happened to all of those sculptural private parts? Was it a priestly interest, like Napoleon's part was? Did the priests lop them off in the early years of Christianity, just like Oliver Cromwell knocked off the noses of the saints in England during his rule? Where are they now?
The Stone of Scone was returned (finally) to Scotland after sitting in Westminister Abbey under the coronation throne. The Elgin Marbles are still in the British Museum but the subject of reparations is a hot one in all cultures. Amer-Indian grave belongings and bones are being inventoried and returned. How would you ever know which thing went with which statue? And females statues remain intact. What does this say?
Perhaps it is just me and my move, thinking of things that have been separated, parts of me in places here and there and the provenance of self. Fertilized eggs sitting unclaimed are very different from household goods in storage, but really, where do things belong and how does separation impact identity and ownership? I don't have fertilized eggs out there anywhere but the idea of unclaimed and claimed ownership leaves many things (like Paris Hilton's diary) up for grabs and disposal of eggs means a debate about tossing out a (potential) life. Sometimes the parts are more valuable than the whole.
The David's thing was still around for Queen Victoria to have it demurely covered with a fig leaf for her viewing when she visited Florence and it - the statue - has been carefully guarded all these many years. But missing male statuary parts are more common than not. Where are they and why were they lopped off? Reformation or after?
It had been a long day at the museums and this was my take-away.