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08:21 | 24th April 2017

News: UK

Tue 25 Jun, 2013
By Robert Ingham


Most museums have collections of Greek and Roman statues which show men looking very naked

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The British Museum has launched a guide which focuses on elements of homosexuality found in its collection.

"A Little Gay History" draws on objects ranging from ancient Egyptian papyri and the erotic scenes on the Roman Warren Cup to images by David Hockney.

Written by curator Richard Parkinson, it explores artistic portrayals of what it means to be gay and the difficulties in finding records of same-sex desire.

"Museums have always been very important spaces for people to consider their own sexual identity," explains Mr Parkinson - curator in the ancient Egypt department - in the guide.



With the London Pride Festival just round the corner, the guide looks at several important items from ancient to modern times in the Museum's collections.

"Most museums have collections of Greek and Roman statues which show men looking very naked, so for men who desired other men it was one of the few spaces where they could look at naked male bodies in a culturally respectable sort of way."

The project began with "Same-sex desire and gender identity" in LGBT History Month in 2010, and recognises the importance of gay role models throughout history.

"People often think that gay and lesbian history is a minority history, but of course it is part of humanity's history. Sexual diversity is something that affects us all."

"A Little Gay History" is on at the British Museum on Friday 28th June at 18:30-19:30 in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre. Tickets are £5.

 

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