The British Museum is flooded with visitors from all over the world, and from around the corner. And the "intellectual project" carried out by museums is by no means over. Far more young people will see the wonderful things inside the British Museum than ever would see the marbles as tourists on a quick visit to Greece.
As a child growing up in a snow-bound city in North America, I sheltered from blizzards, while waiting at the school bus stop, by stepping inside our neo-classical museum where a small Cycladic head, a Roman bronze of Diana with a faun walking beside her, and an oil sketch by Rubens helped set the course of my life.
Museums full of variety, not just national treasures, are what fire the imagination.