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At the Victoria and Albert Museum

On Friday 31st October I took Room 38 (Angarth) as well as some recent acquisitions to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Having set up in the ornate surrounds of the Norfolk House Music Room, I welcomed visitors to the Museum within a Museum, and gave two tours of the collections. It was an excellent experience and people were quite entranced with the details of day-to-day life in Angarth as well as the provenance of items such as the brick not thrown at a protest.

I am particularly fond of the Victoria and Albert Museum for many reasons. It has a delightful wide selection of things, from Japanese samurai armour to wooden interiors from now destroyed London mansions. There are also lots of things which puzzle me, such as the corridor full of metal gates and grills, and the huge room full of silver. These rooms at first appear quite dull, in that they contain same type of object endlessly repeated. But they are also overlooked artefacts, things which most visitors will ignore as they get lost trying to find the Raphael Cartoons.

I really enjoy getting lost, because it means I have (even if only briefly) escaped from a rational system. While the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge is too small to be physically lost inside, I do hope that it allows people to escape some of the structures that govern our everyday lives. I have always been keen on role-playing video games, because they provide the player with the freedom to explore different worlds. While the Museum is not about elves or magical swords, it does borrow some of the creative licence from the power of fiction, which should never be the poor relation of facts.

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