Campaigners are hoping to force the council to take action against the owners of a museum which was supposed to be Britain’s first women’s museum…. but turned out to be one dedicated to Jack the Ripper.
Plans submitted to Tower Hamlets for the conversion of the building in Cable Street promised: “The museum will recognise and celebrate the women of the East End who have shaped history, telling the story of how they have been instrumental in changing society. It will analyse the social, political and domestic experience from the Victorian period to the present day.”
But when the covers came off yesterday, it turned out to be just what everyone in the East End has always wanted… more Ripper tourism.
After all, what better way to celebrate the women of the East End than to glorify a man who murdered prostitutes?
Before you make a snap judgement though, pay attention to this message from museum founder, Mark Palmer-Edgcumbe, who explains: “…the Jack the Ripper Museum has transformed a semi-derelict building into a world class visitor attraction that will bring employment, prosperity and regeneration to a neglected corner of Whitechapel.”
Thank goodness Whitechapel — where the average house price is £627,834 but is in one of the most deprived boroughs in the country — has someone like Palmer-Edgcumbe to lift it out of poverty.
And, after all, in his words: “the Jack the Ripper Museum in no way glorifies or glamorises Jack the Ripper, quite the opposite, it presents the women of the East End’s story for the first time”. Because, no-one’s ever mentioned the victims before, yeah?
Here’s one way the museum plans to tell you the story of the women of the East End:
Yes, please view autopsy photos with respect for the victims — just like the rest of the museum respects the victims and in no way exploits them.
People living in Cable Street are furious at what they thought would be a celebration of the rich history of the area but has turned out to be more Ripper tat. They now want the council to see if there’s any way to reverse the planning permission.