Monday, 31 May 2010

The Ulster Museum controversy (7)

One of the disappointments in the refurbished Ulster Museum is the way in which the Ulster-Scots community and Ulster-Scots culture have been airbrushed out of the exhibits.  This was one of the issues I raised in the letter which I sent to the trustees of the museum and which has now been leaked to the media.

The omission of the Ulster-Scots dimension of Ulster history was also identified by Mark Thompson, the former chairman of the Ulster-Scots Agency, on 31 October 2009 on his own blog, Bloggin fae the Burn, at  http://clydesburn.blogspot.com/   He made a passing comment on the Troubles section and then added:
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 have visited the Ulster Museum several times and have yet to find even the term Ulster-Scots on any of the exhibits.  Yet that term was first used as far back as 1640 to describe the people who had come across from Scotland.  How can anyone justify excluding the term entirely from the Plantation to Power-Sharing section of the museum?

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