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On not collecting

Monday 4 May 2015

Museum people are acquisitive, mostly. They thrive on adding things to their collections, and so ensuring the survival and display of those things.

But some things are better left where they are​—​like the remains of the aircraft in this photo. The site is on the Cox Peninsular, west of Darwin, where a B-24 Liberator bomber crashed in Janu­ary 1945, killing the six American crewmen. Components of the plane now lie scattered across the site, among trees that have grown up in the seventy years since the crash.

The bits of the plane, left in the tropical scrub where they fell, evoke this dramatic event. The same bits, if they were taken away to a museum, would not have the same evocative power.

The crash site is marked with a red pin on this map of the area. More information about the site is in an article in the 380th Bomb Group Association newsletter, a web page, and another web page.

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