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Archivist leads attack on museum pieces sale
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Dismay: Dr Gillian Gear was keen to obtain more items before the auction
COUNCIL chiefs have been labelled “philistines” after the authority revealed plans to auction off exhibits from the former Church Farmhouse Museum.
Bosses at Barnet Museum, in Wood Street, Barnet, have accused the council of betraying people’s trust by selling off hundreds of items donated to the museum by residents.
Church Farmhouse, in Greyhound Hill, Hendon, closed in March last year after the council halted its funding.
Exhibits taken from the museum are due to be auctioned off next month.
Barnet Museum archivist Dr Gillian Gear said she was “disappointed” that she had not been given the opportunity to claim more items from the axed museum before they were sent away for auction.
“We have collected our own stuff and a very limited number of domestic items,” she told The Press. “But I was advised
by the council that everything else was spoken for and found a good home.
“I didn’t realise it was going to be sold off and not remain in Barnet. I’m very disappointed. It is a bad sign if people cannot trust a local council.”
Dr Gear accused the council of
showing a lack of respect for the
“Philistines is not a very kind word but there are people in the council who are philistines,” she said.
Betty Roycroft, 86, of New Way,
Colindale, who donated a recipe book written by her grandmother in 1880, is afraid that the Victorian artefact will be lost forever.
She said: “If the museum is not going to keep it, I would quite like to have it back or passed on to the Barnet Museum.
“I know they had to do something with the items but it could have been done much more sensitively.”
A council spokeswoman said that many items from Church Farmhouse had been donated to other museums and collections, and those sent to auction were not of historical importance. She said: “Exhibits of local importance have been retained by the council in the
borough’s archives at Hendon Library.
“Material loaned to the museum has been returned to the appropriate people.
“The council will also do its best to answer any questions people may have about specific objects.”
All content © of North London Press unless stated otherwise.
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1 comments on this news item
Posted by : Tim, Chippenham | Friday 28/Sep/2012 | Report this comment
I understand that the Council are legally obliged to return any item not fully owned by the council, to the donor, the donors family or the donors trustees, where possible. Failure to do so may be a criminal offence. We have this with the closure of Lackham Agricultural and Countryside Museum
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