I love museums. They are filled with sanctioned pillaged goods. Many gotten through empire building.
When people talk about Japan opening up its borders in the 1800s, they are actually talking about a forced event. There was a pile of ships in Japan's bay pointing guns and blocking trade routes.
When that object was found - in some ancient sand-filled room in the desert - or the jungles - or a temple in Tibet - a sunken ship - whichever you prefer -
It was put in a box in a room with ornamental pillars in the gilt rooms of The National with lights arranged to shine the brass - scale-work - to make the green appear more realistic - more fine
It is a dragon - it's probably Chinese - Japanese - some eastern country - it was found in a village with lots of people sometime in the 1800s - it was in the center of the town
When they opened the borders of Japan - opened - like a tomb - popped - it was all orchestrated so as not to make it too sudden - too catastrophic - too something
It was so carefully handled with lots of guns and an armada - cannons - a lot of people standing eye to eye
What to make of this care-filled opening - of legs? - not that delicate - more an unsnapping - a sort of oar rippling the water - it wasn't so terrible as all that