NHM to review ‘offensive’ Darwin collection
THE Natural History Museum is reviewing collections it fears could be seen as "offensive" including its Charles Darwin exhibitions.
A review in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to an audit into rooms, statues and items that some staff believe are “legacies of colonies, slavery and empire”. Collections deemed “problematic” could be renamed, relabelled or removed.
One of the museum’s directors said action taken in response would alter “the use and display of our collections and public spaces”.
The executive board is understood to be “very engaged with the many issues and questions” highlighted in a paper by a curator which claimed “science, racism, and colonial power were inherently entwined”.
Specimens gathered by Darwin could be among those under threat.
Michael Dixon, the director of the Natural History Museum, said 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, recognising that greater understanding and awareness on diversity and inclusion are essential.”