Museum on British Empire closed down

Press Trust of India London | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on May 13, 2012

The UK's only museum dedicated to the glories of the British Empire has closed down because of public antipathy towards the country's colonial past.

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum has been forced to sell its premises in Bristol and give up its collections because of the public's dislike towards the nation's colonial past.

Sir Neil Cossons, Chairman of the museum's board of trustees, blamed the demise on ‘post-imperial angst'

“I think the time has not yet arrived for the proper story of Empire and Commonwealth to be told,” he said.

Although attitudes to Empire were improving, he said it was still an “unfashionable subject” and “more healing of time” was required.

The museum opened in Bristol in 2002 but closed in 2008. It was hoped that selling the building would pay for the collection to move to London, the Daily Mail reported.

But despite fetching £ 3.1 million, the museum failed to find a home in the capital.

Gift to Bristol museum

Now, its 50,000-strong collection of written records, photographs, film clips, paintings, letters and artefacts has been gifted to Bristol Museum. Last week, three Lord Lieutenants, who advise the Queen on the awarding of honours, said the term Empire should be removed from awards.

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Published on May 13, 2012
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