The British Museum to exhibit controversial Trump Baby blimp
Ian Hislop is curating display on 'dissent' in September
03 August, 2018 — By Geoffrey Sawyer
The giant baby ‘blimp’ was launched during US President visit to UK
THE British Museum is seeking to borrow the controversial Trump Baby blimp, which flew over a protest against United States president Donald Trump’s controversial UK visit, for its upcoming exhibition, I Object: Ian Hislop’s Search for Dissent.
The museum has approached the activists behind the Trump Baby blimp with a view to flying the blimp at the museum for the exhibition by Private Eye’s editor, due to open in September.
A spokesman for the museum said the talks were at an early stage and nothing had been decided, but the museum was looking to borrow the blimp rather than acquire it for the museum’s collections.
Kevin Smith, one of the activists behind the Trump Baby, confirmed that the museum was in negotiations over a temporary loan of the blimp.
The Trump Baby’s future was the subject of febrile speculation among museum professionals on Twitter, with representatives from the Science Museum, the Bishopsgate Institute, Museum of London, and British Museum all registering an interest in its acquisition.
Sharon Ament, the director of the Museum of London, tweeted: “Would love to add it to our collection.”
Despite this, Mr Smith confirmed that the British Museum was the only one to have made an approach to host the blimp, and that its immediate future was unlikely to be a museum storage depository.
“Trump Baby will be going on some sort of international tour,” he said.
“We’re in touch with various other groups and institutions who would like to host him, and our priority is for countries where Trump will be visiting. But we need to sit down and go through all these offers and see what’s possible.”
President Trump’s UK visit last month was also marked by a series of banners draped across the Battersea Arts Centre with slogans including “build bridges, not walls” and “love trumps all”.
“When we heard that President Trump was also visiting the United Kingdom on July 13 we looked at the values we were seeking to celebrate, which have characterised the 125-year history of Battersea’s former town hall,” said the centre’s artistic director, David Jubb.
“We felt that they were in contrast with some of the values which President Trump’s leadership has come to represent.”
Meanwhile in the US, inspired by the UK’s Trump Baby, activists have raised more than $23,000 (around £17,500) to create a new generation of blimps to fly around the country.