Following a period of reflection, we want to share this statement from Cllr Carmen Appich, Chair of Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee Brighton & Hove City Council and Michael Bedingfield, chair of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust.
“The Royal Pavilion & Museums stands in solidarity with BHCC ( https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/news/2020/brighton-hove-city-council-stands-solidarity-protesters-america ) with Black people who have died after contact with the justice system and in support of everyone protesting for equal rights for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) peoples in America, the UK and across the world.
“The team at the Royal Pavilion & Museums has been listening to the international, national, and local conversations around the murder of George Floyd and the global Black Lives Matter protests his death has sparked.
“As a cultural institution, we are committed to sharing stories and have a responsibility to reflect the lives of all communities. For some while, we have been aware that we need to listen to, understand and represent more truthfully and fully the lives and histories of the range of BAME communities in our city and to reach out to those we have not yet met.
“In particular, we are aware we have items in our collections which were acquired under conditions which would not be acceptable today.
“In March we set up a new working group dedicated to ‘Decolonising Museums’ which is open to staff members and volunteers in the museum. We encourage and welcome new members to this group from all communities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved.
“In addition, since 2014 we have regularly hosted meetings of the Heritage Network which provides a forum for sharing resources and skills around Black and minority heritage, arts and culture. The network was built on long established links between RPM and BME heritage interest groups such as Brighton & Hove Black History.
“Our position in the city allows us a platform, the opportunity and the duty to speak out, confront prejudice and stand up for human rights and anti-racism. We accept we are not there yet.
“We hope you will join us on our journey to learn and take action, hold us to account when necessary and discover better ways to share BAME stories to provoke change and make the world equal for people from all ethnicities.”