Natural History Museum to Review ‘Offensive’ Darwin Exhibits
In response to the iconoclastic Black Lives Matter movement, the Natural History Museum has launched a review into supposedly “offensive” and “problematic” collections, including exotic birds collected by English naturalist Charles Darwin.
The review will audit rooms, statues, and items that the executive board deems offensive for possible renaming or removal, to show how “science, racism, and colonial power were inherently entwined”.
Documents revealed to The Telegraph from the review state that “in light of Black Lives Matter and the recent anti-racist demonstrations around the world”, the Natural History Museum will review “whether any statues (or collections) or could potentially cause offence”.
The review will reportedly include specimens collected by Charles Darwin on the Galapagos Islands, which were instrumental in helping the naturalist form his Theory of Evolution. A curator of the museum listed the pieces as an example of Britain’s many “colonialist scientific expeditions”.
The museum is home to a statue depicting the 19th-century naturalist, which may also come under scrutiny during the leftist assault on British history.
The review team argued that exotic birds collected by Darwin and Caption Robert Fitzroy on the islands served to “enable greater British control” throughout South America.
A statue honouring Thomas Henry Huxley — who promoted Darwin’s theory of evolution to such an extent that he is known as ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’ — has been targeted for removal as well due to his controversial views on race.
The director of the Natural History Museum, Michael Dixon, told 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,” Dixon went on.
A curator at the museum argued that collections need to be ‘decolonised’ because “museums were put in place to legitimise a racist ideology” and that “covert racism exists in the gaps between the displays”.
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