This is rich. A museum in London that was said to become a much needed and desired women’s history museum turned out to be a museum glorifying famed killer of women Jack the Ripper.
When confronted with this strange change from celebrating the things women achieved despite adversity to becoming part of that adversity, the museum’s founder Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe engaged in a bit of victim blaming: “It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place,” Palmer-Edgecumbe told the Evening Standard.
Palmer-Edgecumbe, former diversity chief of both Google and Barclays, lied to the Tower Hamlets council when applying for a permit to build “the first women’s museum in the UK”. Critics of the museum have pointed out that the museum:
- Glorifies Jack the Ripper by showing a figure of him as a gentleman in the museum’s logo.
- Insults the Ripper’s victims by reducing them to smears of blood on coffee mugs.
- Is on Cable Street, but is not about the rich history of Cable Street women – whereas Jack the Ripper exhibits and tours are a dime a dozen.
The Tower Hamlets council is reviewing the situation, but has already announced that it is unlikely to revoke any permits: “Ultimately, however, the council has no control in planning terms of the nature of the museum.” The council will instead look into other irregularities, such as the opening hours and the design of the front of the building (the Jack the Ripper imagery), which may both go beyond what the permits allow.