London’s British Museum will be spotlighting the achievements of the Gay Egyptologist William John Bankes, who first suggested that the texts in three different languages on the Rosetta Stone might actually say the same thing. Following that suggestion Jean-François Champollion and Thomas Young went on to do the work of translation which led to the decoding of the ancient Egyptian language. Highlighting Bankes’ story is part of the Museum’s effort to acknowledge the contribution of Gay people through world history. Other artifacts have been added to the Museum’s LGBTX tour. An excerpt from a Guardian feature on the tour states:
“Other new objects on the tours will include an ancient Greek coin depicting the poet Sappho and a Roman lamp showing two women having oral sex, probably representing a male fantasy.
“There is also a 1777 medal of the Chevalier d’Eon, an 18th-century soldier, diplomat and spy who lived alternately as a man and a woman in France and England.
“The most recent is a “Bank of Duckie” nine-bob note, a fake banknote made for a 2008 club event called Gay Shame Goes Macho, featuring the gangster Ronnie Kray instead of the Queen.
“They join busts of the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous, a gender-fluid depiction of a Babylonian deity dating from 1800BC, and arguably the museum’s most famous gay object, the Warren Cup, a Roman drinking vessel showing two scenes of men making love.
“The museum is planning for reopening after the government gave the all clear for museums and galleries to open their doors from 4 July. A formal date has yet to be announced but the LGBT+ tours will be among the first tours to restart, said Frost. In the meantime the possibility of having them online is being explored.”
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Thanks to Soror Amy for the tip!