A BID for cash to relaunch the exhibits at Greenock’s museum includes a plan to ‘decolonise’ them.
A report by Inverclyde Council officials states: “Officers have recently applied for funding for the Watt Institution [which includes the McLean Museum] to undertake a reinterpretation of museum collections, including ‘decolonising’ collections
“…[this] is a process of museums and heritage institutions expanding the perspectives they portray beyond those of the dominant cultural group.”
A decision on the funding bid is due soon.
The information features in an update for councillors regarding the request for a report to be compiled on Inverclyde’s historical links to the slave trade and how they can be recognised in today’s society
It states: “Officers across relevant departments of Inverclyde Council, as well as members of the community and black and minority ethnic (BAME) members of the community, will be invited to join a working group…to examine these links.”
The report continues: “Work has already taken place examining the area’s historic links to slavery. The Watt Institution holds much information about Inverclyde’s links to the slave trade and held an exhibition on the subject entitled ‘Sugar, Ships and Slaves’ in 2007.
“Watt Institution staff also worked alongside arts education staff and various other partners in 2009 on a ‘Routes to Roots’ project which saw 93 Newark Primary pupils and their teachers devise and lead a slavery tour in Inverclyde. Pupils visited the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool to round off the project.
“Other work which could be undertaken could include examining slavery connections of statues, historic buildings, and street names in the Inverclyde area.”