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Addressing Empire

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Like many museums in the UK, the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum cares for art and objects in its collections that originate from other countries and communities across the world.

The museum was purpose-built as a home for Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes’ growing collection of art and objects that they acquired from their travels at the tail end of the 19th and early 20th century. Since then, the museum has continued to collect art and objects.

We recognise that the initial formation of these collections and the establishment of the museum took place during the height of the British Empire, and many of the objects on display today are associated with Britain’s colonial past.

We are working to address issues of empire in the museum’s collection. We aspire to be an inspirational and inclusive cultural destination for everybody – unlocking fresh perspectives through our collections and inspiring generations to come.

We will be working with a diverse range of stakeholders to support us on this journey, including our EDI Focus Group, as well as continuing to ensure we use our collections in a way that is equitable and ethical.

If you’d like to share your views or get in touch, email us russellcotes@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

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