Racist dolls set for removal at British children's museum following tourist complaints

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A leading children's museum is set to dispose of offensive dolls with blacked-skinned faces that have been on display since the 1950's after a string of complaints by tourists.

The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh has shown the golliwog dolls since opening in 1955, but visitors have pointed out the offensive nature behind their design, which were popular in the 1890s to1950s.

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A notice written by the museum acknowledged the offence taken by the dolls and vowed to make changes to their use of them during a refurbishment period of their displays.

"We recognise that some visitors may feel the golliwogs on display in the museum represent negative racial stereotypes," it said.

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"We do not uphold such stereotypes and do not wish to cause any offence but believe that it is right to display these toys because they were such a significant part of British childhood from the 1890s to the 1950s.

"As soon as we have the opportunity to upgrade the museum's displays we will consider alternative ways of interpreting these toys and reflecting the changes in attitudes towards them in more recent years."

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The museum refused to comment directly on the future of the golliwogs, but have confirmed their ground floor level will be "remodelled" into a "fun factory" for children, which will include new toys and technology and combined with artefacts.

Nicola Hay, from Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC), said a golliwog display would be seen as acceptable by the organisation providing an explainer into its history featured alongside it.

golliwog doll

"Golly dolls perpetuate racism as they hark back to a time when the mockery and stereotyping of black people was considered a social norm.

"However, we would support the display of golly dolls within the museum if they were accompanied with an education segment, or an interaction educational journey, so that young people could understand the history of racism in Scotland."

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