Tunisian market set up in the Trocadero in 1900, with authentic Tunisians
I prefer a different definition of what was going on here, offered by Johannes Fabian. Anthropology, he wrote, is "a science of other men in another tune." Here "another time" does not mean chronology in a simple sense, but a belief that other societies are frozen in the past, or represent earlier stages of human progress. A professor of mine in college once explained the difference between anthropology and sociology by saying, "sociologists study people with refrigerators, and anthropologists study people without refrigerators." Anthropology, then, always has this sense that we are looking at the past in the present.
The Trocadéro library
I have a sense that many people around the world are intensely suspicious of curiosity as a motive. It still happens that scientists who journey to remote regions are suspected by the locals of ulterior motives; these strangers can't really be interested in lemurs or fossils or dying languages, they must be after gold or oil. Critics like Edward Said simply deny that any European was interested in other regions apart from a desire to rule and conquer them. Personally, I find this attitude as weird as villagers seem to find detached scientism. Why on earth would I want to conquer and rule anybody, or dig for gold, when I could just enjoy their art and marvel at their unique ways of doing things?