V&A di­rec­tor: Colo­nial relics bet­ter off here

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Olivia Rudgard SO­CIAL AF­FAIRS ED­I­TOR

TRISTRAM HUNT has de­fended the V&A’s colo­nial col­lec­tion and sug­gested that ob­jects from for­mer colonies should stay in the UK be­cause peo­ple orig­i­nally from those coun­tries find it eas­ier to see them here.

The for­mer Labour Party politi­cian said that the mu­seum had not ob­tained all of its items from the colonies through “sim­ply pil­lage and tak­ing” and that the re­al­ity was of­ten more com­pli­cated.

Speak­ing at the Chel­tenham Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val, he said that the Ethiopian am­bas­sador had re­cently vis­ited the mu­seum.

He added that the mu­seum has a col­lec­tion of Sikh arte­facts and that Sikhs in the UK “will value the fact that those ob­jects are in the hands of the V&A and ac­ces­si­ble to them, rather than in other parts of the sub­con­ti­nent”.

The for­mer MP for Stoke-on-Trent Cen­tral stepped down in Jan­uary this year in or­der to take on the V&A di­rec­tor­ship.

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