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Barbican Centre Chairman under fire after ‘dyslexic’ jibe at the Welsh language

19 Jul 2018 2 minute read
The offending tweet

The Chairman of London’s Barbican Centre, Dr Giles Shilson, has apologised for comparing the Welsh Language with dyslexia.

Posting a picture of Welsh place names, he said: “This must be what it feels like to be dyslexic”.

He later deleted his tweet and apologised.

“I’d like to apologise. I sent a very thoughtless tweet and unintentionally upset lots of you,” he said.

“I’m so sorry – it wasn’t my intention to be insulting and I should have realised that it would be. I sincerely apologise.”

He is an Oxford graduate in modern languages and member of culture committee on London City.


The Assembly’s Llywydd, Elin Jones, had drawn attention to the tweet, saying that it was insulting both to dyslexics and Welsh speakers.

“Who in particular did you intend to insult with this tweet – a Welsh-speaker or someone with dyslexia?” she said.

“Either way the comment exhibits an ignorant narrow-mindedness. Learn something from this tweet.

“An acknowledgement and an apology would be welcome. Diolch.”

Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood had also earlier drawn attention to the tweet.

“As the chair of the Barbican centre in London, why would you show such ignorance, spite & lack of culture as you have displayed in this tweet?” she said.

“If it was meant to be a joke, it just isn’t funny. An apology would be good.”

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