Friday, 14 January 2011

Neil MacGregor shows solar lamp to Ashden Awards guests: "What people have always hoped for is now a reality"

This week the Ashden Awards team celebrated the selection of a solar lamp and charger as the 100th object in the BBC series 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'. We were lucky enough to view the 100th object, exemplified by 2010 Gold Award winners d.light design's Nova lamp, at a reception in the British Museum.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director, introduced the object to 100 distinguished guests, specially invited by the Awards team and members of the Development Board:

"This object is something which absolutely represents everything that the Ashden Awards stands for. In 2010 it won the Ashden Awards Gold Award. The reason for this is that it's a practical, simple and affordable object and it is available to the poorest of the poor across the globe. It replaces kerosene bringing clean, safe and bright light to households for the very first time".

The Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, went on to explain how the 100th object was chosen:

"I was invited by Sarah to the 2010 Ashden Awards and, as I heard the account of what this solar panel and lamp does, and what solar panels do for people without mains electricity, setting them free, not just from the need for kerosene, but from all the political control that goes with mains electricity, all the corruption, the political interference, it suddenly became clear to me that this had to be the 100th object."

"In every society the greatest prayer is that light perpetual shine on you. And that is of course what this solar panel does, it gives you light perpetual. It lets you take the sun and use it when you need it. And we've put together some objects [in this display case] that show that through the millennia, and around the world, this is always what people have hoped for. And this is now a reality".

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