1. In Greek literature, Memnon was the king of Ethiopia who fought in the
Trojan war on the side of Troy. He was killed by Achilles. In classical and pre-
Egyptological modern traditions of travel writing this statue was linked to
Memnon and others, such as Sesostris and Ozymandias. Growing acceptance
of Champollion’s theories about the ancient hieroglyphics in the 1830s led to
the statue’s being relabeled as belonging to Ramses II.
2. Heidegger, “The Age of the World Picture,” in Oﬀ the Beaten Path, 67.
3. Ibid., 66.
4. Ibid., 69–70.
5. Ibid., 67–8.
6. Mitchell, Colonising Egypt.
7. Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment, 9.
8. On the early history of the British Museum, see Miller, That Noble Cabi-
net, and Ian Jenkins, Archaeologists and Aesthetes. In the House of Commons,
sharp debates over public funding for the museum would continue through
9. British Museum trustees consistently relied upon nationalist appeals to
increase state support for acquisitions. In one proposal from this period they
argue, “It has often been noticed with surprize that the British government
should not have availed themselves of the means they possess, through their
diplomatic and other agents in different parts of the globe, towards enriching,
and as far as possible completing their public collections of rare and valuable
productions and thereby essentially contributing to the advancement of sci-
ence and the useful arts. The Trustees of the British Museum, who preside
over the only national scientiﬁc repository in the United Kingdom, aware of
the justness of this observation, think it becomes them to make a representa-
tion to His Majesty’s government, requesting them to establish a correspon-
dence with such of their representatives and agents abroad, as may have any