V&A Museum Under Fire for Equating Margaret Thatcher with Hitler and Bin Laden in Exhibition

V&A Museum Under Fire for Equating Margaret Thatcher with Hitler and Bin Laden in Exhibition

The Victoria and Albert Museum has come under fire, with calls for it to lose public funding, following its inclusion of Margaret Thatcher in a list of ‘unpopular public figures,’ alongside Hitler and Osama bin Laden.

In a current display on British humor through the ages, Britain’s first female prime minister is labeled as a ‘contemporary villain,’ appearing alongside Victorian Punch and Judy puppets.

Questionable Depiction in Exhibition

The caption accompanying the display states that over the years, the evil character in the Punch and Judy show has shifted from the Devil to unpopular public figures, including Adolf Hitler, Margaret Thatcher, and Osama bin Laden, to represent contemporary villains.

Additionally, a puppet of Baroness Thatcher from the satirical television show Spitting Image is also featured in the exhibition.

Outrage and Calls for Action

The museum’s characterization of Thatcher has sparked outrage, with critics branding it ‘disgraceful’ and ‘moronic.’

Calls have been made for ministers to revoke the museum’s financial backing.

Former Conservative MPs have criticized the portrayal, stating that equating Thatcher with mass murderers is ill-thought and mendacious.

Criticism from Various Quarters

Nile Gardiner, a former aide to Baroness Thatcher, called the museum’s actions disgraceful and advocated for stripping it of public funding.

Political commentator Russell Quirk argued that Thatcher should be hailed as a hero for her contributions to entrepreneurship and the economy.

The controversy echoes past incidents where the museum’s treatment of Thatcher has stirred debate.

Past Controversies

In 2015, the V&A faced criticism for declining to accept a selection of Thatcher’s personal items, including suits and handbags, offered by her family.

While the museum later exhibited some of her clothes, including her iconic blue suit, controversies surrounding its treatment of Thatcher persist.

Museum’s Response

The V&A, the world’s largest museum of decorative art and design, has not responded to requests for comment on the matter.

However, the uproar highlights ongoing debates about how historical figures are portrayed in cultural institutions.