GB News attacks National Museum of Wales once more for ‘cancelling’ first steam train
GB News has criticised the National Museum of Wales for the second time in two weeks – this time for “cancelling” the world’s first-ever steam locomotive.
Last week Nigel Farage has used his show on GB News to attack the National Museum of Wales for adding placards from 2020 Black Lives Matter protests to its museums.
This week the news channel was unhappy that a replica of the first steam-powered locomotive in Wales was to be relabeled by the National Museum Wales to point out that “trade and colonial exploitation were embedded in Wales’ economy and society and were fundamental to Wales’ development as an industrialised nation”.
Wales was part of the British Empire and goods and technology produced in Wales, such as iron from Merthyr Tydfil, were used around the world as part of the Empire’s expansion.
But the historical context which will be added to a replica of Richard Trevithick’s locomotive, the first steam-powered locomotive journey which took place at the Penydarren Ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil in 1804, angered GB News’ contributors.
Robert Poll from Save Our Statues said that they were trying to “cancel” the first steam train and were desperate “to attack any and every part of British history”.
“We should be celebrating these amazing feats of civilisation, rather than weaving them into a false narrative of endless oppression.”
Speaking on GB News historian Dr Zareer Masani said that the National Museum of Wales suffered from a “lopsided priority” to find something to be ashamed of in our own culture”.
The NMW statement said about the adding of historical context to the Trevithick’s locomotive said that the reality was “that links to slavery are woven into the warp and weft of Welsh society”.
“Trade and colonial exploitation were embedded in Wales’ economy and society and were fundamental to Wales’ development as an industrialised nation.
“As we continue to audit the collection, we will explore how the slave trade linked and fed into the development of the steam and railway infrastructure in Wales.”
The National Museum is a family of seven museums and a collections centre, which are all free to enter thanks to the support of the Welsh Government. Together, it is home to the nation’s art, history and science collections, which will continue to grow so that they can be used and enjoyed by both present and future generations.
The events and exhibitions programme is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Last week the Director of the National Museum of Wales has said that they are “honoured” to display placards from 2020s Black Lives Matter rallies after Nigel Farage used his GB News show to attack the exhibition.
David Anderson, Director General of the National Museum Wales, said that it was more important than ever to “defend democracy and cultural rights” and they “must collect far more of the histories of Black communities in Wales, not less”.
Nigel Farage had attacked the museum in a segment branded ‘WFT – Woke Wales’ on his GB News show, in which he said the display was “very inappropriate” because Black Lives Matter was “violent” and “Marxist”.
But he was heavily criticised for his comments by the museum, Welsh politicians and others who backed their decision to display the placards.
Plaid Cymru Senedd Member Heledd Fychan said “you know you’re doing something right if Nigel Farage attacks you,” praising the display as “excellent”. Labour Senedd Member Dawn Bowden meanwhile told him to “get knotted”.
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