Museum of Liverpool acquires Mel Giedroyc’s Eurovision butter churn - Museums Association

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Museum of Liverpool acquires Mel Giedroyc’s Eurovision butter churn

Institution launches collecting drive to capture ‘humour, joy and inclusivity’ of contest
Collecting
Kay Jones, lead curator at the Museum of Liverpool
Kay Jones, lead curator at the Museum of Liverpool © Gareth Jones

The Museum of Liverpool has acquired the butter churn that went viral when the city played host to Eurovision 2023 earlier this month.

The object became instantly iconic when TV presenter Mel Giedroyc made a cameo appearance with it during the live contest, suggestively churning butter in an homage to Poland’s infamous 2014 entry, which saw performers Donatan and Cleo churn butter and wash laundry on stage.

The wooden churn is one of a number of items that the museum has acquired in the wake of the competition, which the city hosted on behalf of the 2022 winner Ukraine.

Several costumes have also joined the collection, including the outfit that the UK’s 1993 winner Sonia wore to the 2023 final, along with scripts, props and items from the local community.

The extravaganza drew 500,000 visitors to the city during a four-week-long EuroFest. National Museums Liverpool's sites played a key role during the festival, hosting music sessions, art interventions and live screenings, as well as appearing on screen several times during the live show itself in clips showing off the city’s cultural highlights.

Vistors could take part in a Eurovision Walk of Fame augmented reality experience on the steps outside the Museum of Liverpool, while the institution also played host to a flash mob choir singing With A Little Help From My Friends to show solidarity with Ukraine.

Some of the highlights from the Museum of Liverpool's Eurovision programmingImages by Pete Carr

“Anyone lucky enough to be in Liverpool during Eurovision will know what an amazing moment it was for the city, how sensitively Ukraine was represented throughout, and how warm the city’s welcome was,” said Kay Jones, the Museum of Liverpool’s lead curator of social history and communities.

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 “At Museum of Liverpool we’re continuously looking to seek out items to represent the city and its people, now and for the future, so to record this moment, when Liverpool was shining on the world stage, was really important to us. 

“The butter churn may have only appeared for a moment in the live show but Mel Giedroyc’s playful nod to the 2014 Polish entry quickly went viral, capturing the humour, joy and inclusivity of Eurovision – just like Liverpool's contribution to Eurovision history – so it was top of the list for our contacts at the BBC who have kindly helped us collect iconic items from the show.”

Swedish singer Loreen won this year’s contest, with UK entrant Mae Muller finishing in second-to-last place.  

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