Many are familiar with Tibetan butter lamps, whose soft light brings out the golden faces of metal Buddhas and lamas from the darkness of a shrine. Less known, however, is the use of butter as a material for monumental sculpture as part of a long tradition in Tibet. Can these perishable images be displayed in museums, when their creation is linked to a precise context and their know-how is as admirable as it is little known?
Once out of the temple, does Sanskrit, the language of the gods resonate in the same way in museums halls, in auction houses and in the pages of scientific works? Globalization and popularization of knowledge challenge the use of Sanskrit, which oscillates between the pledge of erudition and the selling point, between the obstacle to understanding and the panels adornment.
Planned for 2020 and victim of successive lockdowns in Paris, the exhibition The Olmecs reopens at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris until October 2021. An honest and uncompromising review.
Āśāpurī, an early medieval site (9th-11th century) in Central India, only came to the attention of archaeologists decades after museum specialists first collected and preserved its sculptures. Despite the major role of local and state museums in the preservation of the site, looters keep plundering Āśāpurī’s most valued artworks.