Robert Geffrye – Will He Fall?

Demonstrations at the Geffrye Museum after the Board refuse to remove the statue of the founder who made money from the slave trade.
Interesting developments to this story – the Government wrote to the Geffrye Museum telling them that it was not Government or Heritage England’s policy to remove statues. And in a possibly sinister move the Minister Oliver Dowden asked the Geffrye to consult the government on any move it made.

This seems to go to the heart of independence and a free country. Here is the government using its financial support to make sure independent organisations do what the government wants.

For more on this story, go here. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/13/removal-of-controversial-statues-winston-churchill-protest

Protestors at the Geffrye Museum
This is an update on the subject

Ship of Theseus – a Philosophic Paradox in Material Culture

This was first raised by Plutarch, and it concerns a crucial issue in conservation/restoration which is how to maintain authenticity in the face of replacing worn out parts of an object or structure. The idea is, perhaps, most economically discussed in ‘Any Fools and Horses’ in the scene known as Trigger’s Broom.

Watch this now before proceeding to the philosophy. Click here.
Theseus’ ship can be seen just over Ariadne’s left shoulder in Titian’s painting in the National Gallery. He is abandoning her on the Isle of Naxos.

Now you are ready to appreciate the philosophic issue that is discussed in this short video by the Khan Academy. Click here.

Black Lives Matter & London Heritage

A couple of my regular places have been affected by the effects of the toppling of the Colston Statue in Bristol.

Firstly, the statue of Robt Milligan outside the Museum of London, Docklands has been taken down. I have often used this as a meeting point for my students from Westminster University as we explore the Docks and the Docklands Museum.

Slavery was a big part of the visit, although we didn’t make Milligan the villain.

Another site is the Geffrey Museum which is going to open as the Museum of the Home, although this was determined before the George Floyd murder, but now I expect the Geffrey part of it to quietly disappear, as he is also contaminated by slavery.

Interesting fact about slavery, is that UCL have done a brilliant study of all the recipients of the compensation for the end of slavery. The govt at the time paid compensation of £20m to the slave OWNERS. This was a vast amount said to be 45% of the GDP for the year. It was funded by a long term loan which was paid back, as late as, 2015. In modern terms it was 16 billion £.

This has completely changed my mind on compensation for slavery which I was against. But it seems to me if we know that £16 billion was spent then to compensate the owners we could set up a fund of £16 billion now to give, for example, educational grants and start up grants for black people to give them the boost they need to make up for centuries of oppression..