So begins a comic strip — a manga comic strip mind you — in which a nutty professor seeks to solve archaeological mysteries. In the 15-years-running “The Case Records of Professor Munakata,” the professor has finally paid a visit to the west.
The Economist explains:
In the current adventure Professor Munakata is the first to realise that the stolen megaliths are pawns for the return of the British Museum’s controversial treasures, such as the Elgin marbles which Greece has long been demanding. He uncovers a French plot to infiltrate the museum and snatch the Rosetta Stone (the ancient artefact that provides the key to Egyptian hieroglyphs) in order to return it not to Egypt but to France, which first discovered and translated it. Eventually, it is Professor Munakata’s “reverse pyramid” strategy that prevents the megaliths from being dumped atop the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral from a blimp.
The first two episodes of “Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure”, in Japanese, are on display at the British Museum until October 23rd. The complete series will be published in English by the British Museum Press in March 2011.