Elaine and I had a wonderful lunch today at the British Museum with Rohini Nilekani and her friend, the historian Dr Ramachandra Guha. Ram proved to have had a remarkably similar early journey to mine, describing himself as a failed economist who switched to sociology, with a strong environmental thread shot through much of his work.
Afterwards, we had another wander around the Egyptian section of the Museum, which is on a level with the restaurant, and I was again left slightly breathless by the beauty of the funerary objects – though the exhibits speak of intense social stratification, always uncomfortable, wherever found. Have been somewhat sensitised by Sam to the extent to which many of the artifacts on display have been looted at some point in their life-cycles, sometimes serially. But, at the same time, what a joy to be able to see things like the Sutton Hoo treasure, which might otherwise be locked up in a private collection.