An updated version of my brief website post from March 2020:
It is time to return the Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles to be displayed on our island again.
The manuscript was written at Rushen Abbey more than 1,050 years ago, until they were acquired by Sir Robert Cotton in the 17th century. There appears to be no meaningful doubt that Sir Robert was the legitimate owner of the manuscripts at the time, and he left them to the British Library as part of its founding.
James Barr, writing for Unherd.com, argued that the relics of the regions should be returned from London to where they came from. This principle should apply not just to British historical artifacts, but also to Manx historical relics – after all, in the British Library, the Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and Isles are just another book amongst millions. On the Isle of Man, however, this historical text can be properly celebrated and revered.
At a time when there is renewed speculation about whether Greece will make the return of the Parthenon Marbles a condition of a Brexit deal, we are missing, or perhaps ignoring, an issue underneath our noses. It is striking that many of these objects — and others, like the Vindolanda tablets, the Iron Age Snettisham hoard with its fabulous gold torcs, or the gold Ringlemere Cup found in Sandwich ten years ago — come from precisely the sort of places which have been overlooked in recent years. They have all been hoovered up by the museums of one of the richest cities on the planet.Forget the Elgin Marbles — give the North East its treasures back – UnHerd