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Museum of the Home in Hackney re-opens. Statue of slaver Geffrye remains in place

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2021 by kmflett

Museum of the Home in Hackney re-opens. Statue of slaver Geffrye remains in place

The Museum of the Home (@MuseumoftheHome) in Hackney re-opens on Saturday after a lengthy closure for refurbishment.

Some important and interesting changes have been made. One change that hasn’t been made is to remove the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye (1613-1703) that is in a central place at the old front of the museum.

When the black lives matter movement resurged after the murder of George Floyd a year ago there was a consultation, jointly with Hackney Council, on whether the statue should be moved. 71% of the 2,000 or so local respondents said it should be. This was blocked by Ministers Dowden and Jenrick.

This move reflects the frankly weird ideological obsessions of the present Government. Robert Geffrye funded the almshouses in which the museum, much later from 1914, came to be housed. He is absolutely nothing to do with it and there is no historical reason for his statue to be there (as opposed to elsewhere nearby).

Indeed the unlikely source of the Daily Telegraph (11th June)has reported that Museum staff feel the statue could be better represented and explained if it was moved from its current central position to the area nearby where Geffrye is actually buried.

The Museum has made some changes to reflect the area in which its based better. There is a new exhibition of a West Indian sitting room from 1976 (though this might be more frequently be defined by area in 2021- i.e Jamaican, Trindadian..).

There is a also a new film:

https://www.museumofthehome.org.uk/what-s-on/exhibitions-and-installations/waiting-for-myself-to-appear/

It still doesn’t address the central point about the statue and Stand Up To Racism are holding protests on 12th June.

Keep in mind though that the museum staff are professionals and trade unionists. The Tory decision on Geffrye  is ‘above their pay grade’

One Response to “Museum of the Home in Hackney re-opens. Statue of slaver Geffrye remains in place”

  1. […] Museum of the Home in Hackney re-opens. Statue of slaver Geffrye remains in place […]

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