Poll: should museums update offensive object titles?

Vote in the poll and have your say
Museums Association
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Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is currently removing potentially offensive language from titles and descriptions in its digital catalogue, including “negro”, “Indian”, and “dwarf”.

The museum told the New York Times that around 200 online descriptions – from a total of 220,000 – have been changed so far. The labels for artworks and objects on display in the museum – about 8,000 in total – were already updated before the museum reopened in 2013.

For example, a painting by Dutch artist Simon Maris from around 1900, previously titled Young Negro Girl, is now known as Young Girl Holding a Fan.

While some have argued that this is rewriting history in the name of political correctness, others believe that it is sensible to update titles – often not given by the artists themselves – to reflect modern attitudes.

Is the Rijksmuseum right to update its labelling? Have your say in the poll below.


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