Thursday, 19 July 2007

Off on hollybags

Nothing at all since Monday, gosh. And this from someone who just passed 300 posts in only three months. But I meta-digress.

I'm off on holiday tomorrow, Friday, and I have the pleasure and the privilege of going to Zeeland in the Netherlands, yes, the Zeeland to which New Zealand is the New, or Nieuw. Zeeland is distinguished by its complete lack of any tourist attraction likely to bring in so much as one full coach, and while there are rather too many Germans there, drawn by the fact that their own country of some 80 million souls only has about 16km of coastline, all of it on the Brrraltic, there are few or no tourists of other nationalities, present company excepted.

However I feel for the sensitive traveller to other tourist places, which is why this post struck a chord. Anyone who has visited a famous site only to feel fleeced, filleted and fucked-over by the experience will share the sense of outrage.

I'm stunned at how many museums and churches offer absolutely no means for their visitors to understand what they're seeing. Not only are there no labels, there's no brochure, no map, no nothing. At one Palazzo we visited in Rome, only an audioguide was offered. Audioguides are a fine option, but they make it difficult for visitors to decide what's worth learning more about. A printed label is easier to scan, and gives visitors the option of deciding whether to read more. Labeling your collection well is a separate issue, and it's probably something I'll address in its own post.
It's given me an idea, too. That's something I'd be good at: labelling museum collections the world over, in several languages, to suit the average punter and the arsey dilettante alike. Plenty of museums depend on arsey dilettantes, after all. It's not all Uffizi this and Louvre that.

I shall give it two weeks of serious thought. Play nice while I'm gone, or else.