The exhibits showcase Darwin’s exploration of different racial groups. But an internal review ordered amid Black Lives Matter protests found that they could be deemed “offensive.”
The UK’s Natural History Museum directors want to get rid of anything that could be deemed as ‘controversial’ or ‘offensive’. This coming after the 2020 protests across the world.
The Black Lives Matter have called for statues to be removed and have succeeded in doing so on many an occasion.
A large wing of the museum is named after Darwin, and a statue of the naturalist stands in the museum’s main hall.
Michael Dixon, the director of the Natural History Museum, explained to staff. ‘The Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated that we need to do more and act faster. So as a first step we have commenced an institution-wide review on naming and recognition.”
‘We want to learn and educate ourselves. Recognizing that greater understanding and awareness on diversity and inclusion are essential.’
Darwin – who is seen as the ‘father of evolution- went on voyages around the world to study different racial groups.
However, some of the expeditions Darwin went on are said to be to help “enable greater British control” over the world. Such as his visit to the Galapagos Islands on HMS ‘Beagle’ is deemed to be one of the UK’s “colonialist scientific expeditions.”
“In light of Black Lives Matter and the recent anti-racist demonstrations around the world,” the museum is re-evaluating room names. Including any collections and statues, to root out any that “could potentially cause offense.”
And a paper written by a curator argued that “museums were put in place to legitimize a racist ideology.”
And because “covert racism exists in the gaps between the displays,” collections must be “decolonized.”
One curator also found that the ceiling in Hintze Hall has images of cotton, tea and tobacco. “The plants that fueled the British Empire’s economy” and people want this removed.
“They’re decolonizing museums now,” conservative social media pundit Ian Miles Cheong said Sunday. “You thought they would stop at the statues?”
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