The Punchline

13-year-old corrects Byzantine map at the Met

Jeremy Hobson May 7, 2012

 

A seventh grader from Connecticut was visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year and he noticed an error: A map of the Byzantine Empire in the 6th Century was missing Spain and part of Africa.

Benjamin Lerman Coady, of West Hartford, alerted authorities at the front desk who asked him to fill out a form. Turns out the kid was right.

 

“The front desk didn’t believe me,” he said, explaining that he never expected to hear back from the museum. “I’m only a kid.”

In September, he received a letter from the museum’s senior vice president for external affairs. It said that his comments were being forwarded to the museum’s medieval art department for further review.

A few months later — in January, Evans, the museum’s Mary and Michael Jaharis curator for Byzantine art, sent Benjamin an email: “You are, of course, correct about the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire under Justinian,” she wrote.

 

Despite his geography skills, the student said he’s not looking for a job as a cartographer. He told the Hartford Courant he wants to open an exotic car store in Grenwich Village.

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