The images above depict the moment when culture minister Ed Vaizey – presumably fancying a bit of bling – tries on a £95,000 Bronze Age bracelet only to be scolded by British Museum staff. Assistant treasure registrar Caroline Barton explained to the gaffe-prone MP that he should wear gloves. Vaizey was at the museum to announce 15% cuts to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which manages treasures found by amateurs.

The Elgin Marbles have long been the subject of a lengthy dispute with Greece, with the British Museum having argued the sculptures could only be properly protected in London.

Perhaps County Tyrone will now seek to repatriate the bracelet to protect it from wayward government ministers?

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  3. A sense of perspective from the staff might be appropriate. If it survived 3000 years in the ground I think it could survive 3 minutes in a Minister’s hands. Looks to be metallic and in good nick so it isn’t going to suddenly rot to nothing unlike old paper and cloth.

  4. typical of an arrogant tory minister thinks he can handle anything he sees—- but hey “we have never had it so good, and we are all in it together”

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  14. Assuming it is, as it looks, gold, the metal is inert so any chemical coming from his skin would have no effect on it anyway.
    It’s a classic ‘Vaisey moment’ though!

  15. Actually, it’s a Celtic bracelet, not something from a non-cultural ‘Bronze Age’. But the Anglo-British daren’t admit that. It threatens their sense of superiority. After all ‘our’ history only started with the Anglo-Saxons. For new readers, we were composing court poetry here when the Germanic peoples were still running around forests on the mainland.

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