Planned controversial military museum an “insult” to local community says Plaid
Plans to build a military museum in Cardiff Bay have been met with criticism, with Plaid Cymru deeming the move an “insult” to the rich local history, and instead, calling for a museum that truly reflects the multiculturalism of the people who live there.
The Museum of Military Medicine is planning to relocate to a prime location in Cardiff Bay, from Keogh Barracks in Aldershot, Surrey. Nasir Adam, a community activist called it another example of things “being imposed upon the local community, with no consultation with residents.” While the museum says that a public consultation “is now underway” a petition started by local residents to stop the relocation seems to indicate otherwise.
Leanne Wood MS says that the relocation of the museum to Cardiff makes no sense given Cardiff’s lack of military history, and cites the move as further evidence of the gentrification of the Cardiff Bay area – a redevelopment that has seen many of the area’s historic communities pushed aside.
As people from all around Wales show their support for the Black Lives Matter campaign, Ms Wood is calling for a museum that represents the history of black people and those from other minority ethnic groups that made their home in Cardiff and throughout Wales.
Cardiff Bay used to have a museum that represented the lives of its diverse multicultural community – Butetown History and Arts Centre – but this closed its doors in 2016 due to lack of funding. Incidentally, this was the same year the Museum of Military Medicine started looking for its new home. The new museum promises a “world class visitor experience” and sells items such as replica military uniforms and miniature tank figurines in its gift shop.
Leanne Wood MS, Shadow Minister for Justice and Equalities said:
“For Cardiff Council to watch the Butetown History & Arts Centre close due to lack of funds in 2016, only to welcome the Museum of Military Medicine to the area, is an insult to the people who belong there.
“Cardiff is not a military town, and it just does not make sense to have a museum glorifying warfare there. What it does have is a rich history, but this is rapidly being pushed aside in the seemingly frantic gentrification of the Cardiff Bay area.
“To add further insult, we hear the museum is to be located on one of the last remaining playgrounds in the area.
“What is needed, is a museum that reflects the truly diverse and multicultural history of the people that call the Cardiff Bay area home.”
Community activist and Plaid Cymru Cardiff South and Penarth Senedd candidate Nasir Adam said,
“A successful museum provides a clear link to the lived experience of local residents. Cardiff does not have a military history, and so we have to ask whose history and culture is being told in the Museum of Military Medicine?
“This latest move comes against a backdrop of things being imposed upon the local community, with no consultation with residents.
“If people can’t see themselves represented in museums, they are not going to want to be a part of that.”