There has been uproar, peaceful protests, and calls for the council to investigate just how dodgy all the planning application was. And then, it starts to get really interest as the Guardian has been digging deeper...
Jack the Ripper museum architect says he was 'duped' over change of plans, taken-down webpage reveals origins stretch back to 2008, charity asks to be removed from any association with the museum.
Below are highlights from the article linked above…
He apparently lied to the architect:
Andrew Waugh, founder and director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, said he would not have touched the project “with a bargepole” if he had known his designs were going to be used to house displays of Ripper artefacts.
“They came to us and said they had no money but that this is a real heartfelt project. It is incredibly important to celebrate women in politics in the East End. We did it at a bargain-basement fee, at cost price because we thought it was a great thing to do. “
He apparently lied about when the Ripper interest developed:
The museum’s founder maintained that as the project developed he decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of the Ripper.
However, the museum’s own website (on a page which was taken down from the museum’s live website) stated that he wanted to explore the story of Jack the Ripper as far back as 2008, when he was involved with an exhibition about the serial killer at another museum.
He has a long running history of involvement with Ripper businesses:
Palmer-Edgcumbe was co-director of a company called Jack the Ripper Museum (London) Limited in 2012 – long before planning consent was sought for the Whitechapel “museum of women’s history” in August 2014. The company was dissolved in March 2014.
Palmer-Edgecumbe is currently listed as co-director of a company incorporated in October 2013 in the name of 5S Visual Supplies Limited. This name was changed to Jack the Ripper Museum (London) Limited in May 2014, just two months after the first company was closed.
He offended a charity which works to combat violence against women:
“As a charity with a long history of supporting women survivors of violence we are unhappy with the way in which the museum has used our name without permission.”
He apparently mislead the council about the project when seeking planning permission:
“Planning officers in the council will be investigating whether the installed museum sign is contrary to the planning approval conditions. Further enforcement may also be taken in relation to the opening hours listed on their website, which are not in line with the original planning application.”
There are so many levels of cock-up involved in this debacle, but probably the worst point is the continued insistence that, according to their website: "THE MUSEUM TAKES A LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF WOMEN IN THE EAST END IN THE VICTORIAN ERA AND DISCUSSES WHY SO MANY WOMEN HAD LITTLE CHOICE IN THEIR LIVES OTHER THAN TO TURN TO PROSTITUTION"
This is quite possibly a valid point (having not visited, I can't comment on the inclusion of this subject in the museum) as they can easily make a pass at it as part of the museum. However, it is blatantly not the focus of the museum, and that strap-line is found once you scroll down the front page. Which mainly shows this:
Palmer-Edgcumbe would probably have been better off nailing his colours to the mast and dropping all pretense of examining women's history. It would have pissed people off, but actually been more honest, and avoided some of the backlash now taking place against the museum's ongoing claims.
When someone vandalises your ancient monument, would you want to:
A) Imprison them.
B) Fine them.
C) Get them to do community service on the site.
D) Get them to write a research paper on the site, so they have to look into it's history, religious and societal significance, and then explain what they have learnt about it.
Kudos to the manager of Serpent Mound, and the local Assistant Prosecutor, who think that A is unlikely, B won't change any attitudes, so want C and D to happen.
Daniel Coleman Dargavell allegedly jumped the curb in the parking lot in the middle of the night over the Fourth of July weekend and attempted to drive a large white pickup over a 2,000-year-old Adena Mound.
Prison time – if he's found guilty – is a long shot, said Armstrong of the prosecutor's office, who is unsure whether he'll ask that Dargavell do any time.
"Someone else, a family member likely, is going to pay the restitution up front," Armstrong said, "but I want (Dargavell) to have a significant investment in this, that would mostly be community service."
Sometimes, when things like this happen, the party that was vandalized never wants to see the vandal again, Armstrong said.
Not Serpent Mound manager Goodwin.
"In fact, they were already coming up with a list of things they want him to do," Armstrong said.
Story pulled from here.
Your venue is busy busy right now with kids and tourists (at least, I hope so, and I hope they spend some pennies there too) so make sure you keep the good times with you whenever you start to grit your teeth and marvel at the depth of human ignorance!
Sometimes small things happen which remind you why you love working in the museum and heritage sector, sometimes a situation comes out better than you expect, and sometimes... well, sometimes you're given a reason to hide a smile. On the days when a football is being kicked about in the art gallery, or you think all of the signage has turned invisible, take a second to hark back, and put your game face on with a glow in your heart.
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