Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Ulster Museum / Covenanters on Radio Ulster tomorrow

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I went to the much-heralded new £17m Ulster Museum this morning. I spent about 2 hours browsing the displays and reading the interpretation. I know that there have been architectural concerns, there have been objections to its new closed-on-a-Monday policy, and bemusement that it downplays the thing that Northern Ireland is (unfortunately) world famous for.

But of FAR bigger concern to me is the Ulster-Scots component. Why? Because there isn't one.

This cannot be an accident. Museum people spend a lot of time, and money, considering what artefacts to show and how to display and interpret them. Therefore, there has been a purposeful decision to exclude a meaningful Ulster-Scots dimension from the new Ulster Museum. For all of the 21st century interior design and graphic design (both of which are excellent), I'm very disappointed to say that the Ulster Museum can be added to the list of those institutions still trapped in a medieval Anglo/Irish mindset.

I am working on a personal analysis of what I saw there today. I will cite a number of quite shocking examples later in the week - which you can go and see for yourself.

Watch this space.

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Meanwhile, the special edition of Radio Ulster's Kist O Words, about The Covenanters In Ulster, with myself and Dr William Roulston, is broadcast tomorrow at 4pm.

1 comments:

Seán said...

It isn’t surprising that they omit something when they’ve got certain purposes, especially commercial and/or political ones.

This perhaps happens more frequently in my country than in yours.