Switcharoo

Supposed “women’s history” museum in London opens as…Jack the Ripper museum

A street near where Jack the Ripper killed most of his victims in London ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

A new East London museum, which was originally planned to celebrate women’s history, somehow turned into a venue dedicated to the 19th-century unsolved, horrific murders of prostitutes at the hands of “Jack the Ripper.” This unannounced switch has sparked outrage among residents, with one neighboring filmmaker, Julian Cole, calling it  “some sort of sick joke.” According to a planning application approved earlier this year, the venue would “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.” The detailed document even included pictures of suffragettes and Asian women in the 1970s campaigning against racial murders in the area of Brick Lane. Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, a former diversity chief at Google is behind the project. He—rather unconvincingly—told the London Evening Standard that while they originally planned a museum about the social history of women, they eventually decided a more interesting angle would be from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper. “It is absolutely not celebrating the crimes of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place,” he said. Nice try. But, the museum is there to stay, as a spokesman for the Hamlet Towers council (which approved the plans) said they ultimately have “no control in planning terms of the nature of the museum.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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