"This is an exciting and challenging book on heritage revivalism and cultural memory, which draws on a range of theoretical and philosophical approaches to tease apart the complex story surrounding the resurrection of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. With this important work we learn much about how heritage projects are marketed to different audiences and how they are framed to suit particular agendas. As Butler shows, a highly complex set of diplomatic entanglements and bureaucratic networks define the dynamic of revivalism. Bibliotheca Alexandrina was a perfect case study for exploring these issues; however, one hopes that Butler might apply her same level of scrutiny and perception to the phenomenon that is Stonehenge.
- Stephanie Moser, Public Archaeology
"Beverley Butler’s Return to Alexandria
is a fine-grained analysis of what happens when the 30-year dream of reviving a beacon of universal learning becomes a reality… Return to Alexandria
is an ambitious study, by a clever and extremely well-read museologist whom Neal Ascherson hails as a worthy successor to no less than Edward Said. "
- Madeleine Hummler, Antiquity
"A tremendous piece of work. I would think it is destined to become a classic. It is a powerful analysis of the multiple conflicting forces through which culture is produced. This book establishes a new direction for museum studies."
- Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, University of Leicester
"Return to Alexandria
is an outstanding, utterly original achievement. Beverley Butler has not merely provided the missing case-study which shows finally how 'revivalism' works. In her rare combination of reportage, theoretical discussion and often witty analysis, she also brings together almost for the first time the successive 'Western' treatments of the past with the whole discourse of post-colonial culture. "
- Neal Ascherson, author, journalist and editor of the journal Public Archaeology