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This piece is a response to the exhibit Cairo Under Wraps, which displays a collection of delicate fabric sherds dating back several hundred years, which were collected by the ROM’s founder, C.T. Currelly, in the mid-nineteenth century . The exhibit boasts that the ROM is one of few world-class institutions with the resources to preserve such a collection. This assertion seems self-evident, but falls apart at closer examination: after all, these sherds successfully survived for centuries in Cairo before Currelly ever received them! The causal chain that results in the need to ‘preserve’ the object is reversed entirely: it is the excavation of the ‘valuable’ object that necessitates the institution that ‘preserves’ it. What would have been lost if it was never un-buried, but its value to its collector? After all, don’t we bury the things we value to protect them? Who, really, is better at preservation than the earth itself?