But, should he and his possessions be here anyway? Questions like this crop up frequently where do things from the past belong now? Should everything be exhibited where it was originally made?
I'll be coming back to these questions at various points in the programmes.
But I asked the Egyptian writer Ahdaf Souief how she felt about seeing so many Egyptian antiquities so far from home:
'Ultimately it's probably no bad thing to have Egyptian obelisks and stones and statues sprinkled all over the world.
It reminds us of ages of colonialism, yes, but it also reminds the world of our common heritage. '
It's that idea of a common heritage that's become more and more apparent and more important to me, the longer I spend working in the British Museum.
Personally, I think it's never been more important than now to think about the history of the world as one shared story.
'If I could decree a universal education programme,
I would make every child in the world learn a brief history of the entire world that focused on the common ground.
It would examine how people perceive their relationship to each other, to the planet, and to the universe, and it would see human history as a kind of ongoing joint project, where one lot of people picked up where another had left off. ' (Ahdaf Soueif) 下载全新《每日英语听力》客户端，查看完整内容