Londoner’s Diary: British Museum project reignites restitution row

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (SIPA USA/PA Images)
(SIPA USA/PA Images)

As the British Museum plans a £1 billion renovation, it is bracing for further pressure to repatriate items in its collection.

The museum is raising public and private money for a major update of buildings and display collections, and is expecting renewed debate over returning artefacts including the Rosetta Stone, right. Leaks have been reported in the room housing the Parthenon Marbles.

Egyptologist Dr Monica Hanna told us: “The idea of a huge cabinet of curiosities taken from other cultures is very unethical. I think taxpayers... need to rethink where their money is going.”

Professor Dan Hicks of Oxford University, author of The Brutish Museums, said there should be “transparency at every step” of any planned renovation. “It’s a once in a generation opportunity to redisplay and remake stories, and to decide whether restitution is part of that.”

Daisy reveals Victoria’s secret

 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

DAISY GOODWIN, writer of ITV drama Victoria, thinks her royal muse would be “a bit jealous” of Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee. Victoria only managed 63 years. Goodwin, in green, told us that the queens have “a lot in common” at the launch of novel by actor Nell Hudson, left, last night. “Victoria would have been impressed by the way Elizabeth has kept it together” Goodwin said. The writer particularly enjoyed the moment during the concert where Queen guitarist Brian May “rose between the legs” of Buckingham Palace’s Victoria statue.

Hill’s high hopes for Blair musical

 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

HARRY HILL is having a second punt at musical success, with new show Tony! The Blair Musical, which opened at the Park Theatre last night. His first show, X-Factor parody I Can’t Sing, with composer Steve Brown, didn’t set the world alight. Hill’s wife coined the pair “The Flop Twins,” Brown joked. “We embrace it.” Ex-PM Blair was a no-show: “We did offer him the part,” Hill told us.

Gove silence over Grenfell play invite

A NEW play about the Grenfell Tower fire is showing yards from the site of the tragedy. Dictating to the Estate, made up entirely of words by those involved, is on at the Maxilla Social Club in Kensington. It explores the Grenfell refurbishment and wider cuts. Writer Nathaniel McBride told us housing minister Michael Gove was invited, but didn’t reply. Gove attended a Grenfell play last year, where he was heckled.

Nile says he brought fashion to pop first

Londoner’s Diary 09 06 22

MODELS Alexa Chung and Lila Moss enjoyed a gig by Chic’s Nile Rodgers for an adidas and Gucci launch in Peckham last night. They were joined by actor Vicky McClure, musician Bree Runway and TikTok star Francis Bourgeois. Rodgers told us he is an “old hippie”, and said he was one of the first to name-check a fashion brand in 1979 Sister Sledge hit He’s The Greatest Dancer, but now everyone was doing it. Elsewhere, artist Daniel Lismore was at a Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition launch in Canada Water.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting