We destroy the beauty of the countryside because the un-appropriated splendors of nature have no economic value. We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend. — John Maynard Keynes
"Byzantium" at the Met: better than I thought
Regarding my criticism below, that the beautiful show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Byzantium: Faith and Power 1261-1557 gave too little social and historical context: I wrote that before I had explored the website, which is very rich in background. And because it is an elegantly and intelligently designed site, it lets you move around from theme to theme to find the answers to specific questions. Besides the main link above, there is even more starting at a second home page which includes discussions of my special interest, "The Byzantine Sphere and the Islamic World". The experience of the exhibition isn't really complete until you have both visited the Met to see the objects themselves, and explored the website. If you can't get to New York by July 4 (the last day of the show), then at least look at these links. That is, if you care about the history of the western world and the early phases of our conflict with Islam.