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.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
Follow The Attendant:
All text and images are produced by and copyright of the artist, holder of the domain name of attendantsview.com