The Museum of London is compiling select items Occupy London demonstrations. These include anti-capitalist placards, and even masks worn by demonstrators. The items are being taken into the collection to be photographed and posted online.
‘The museum tries to document all major events in London history,’ explained curator of social and working history, Jim Gledhill; ‘This was such a major event, and it was going on 10 minutes down the road.’ But, he added; ‘The City of London as a financial institution also features in our collections: We’re an impartial observer’.
Among the items acquired is 2.4 metre banner bearing the words “You Owe Us” under the logo of UBS. It was hung by protestors occupying an empty UBS building, which was re-named the Bank of Ideas.
A spokesperson for the museum explained that it was looking for items with a personal twist – not ‘mass-produced badges, leaflets and placards that everybody had’. But equally, it is turning down items which are too flimsy; ‘If it’s auto-destructive and will not last more than five years, there’s no point in taking it’, said the spokesperson.
One item to pass the test is a giant illustration of a clenched fist with the words ‘Stand Strong Occupy On’ that was hung from a tree at St. Pauls. The museum has even acquired a mask worn by one of the protestors – the grinning Guy Fawkes mask, appropriated from the ‘V for Vendetta’ comic- book series, and used by Occupy movements worldwide.
Photo© ArtLyst 2011
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