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Everyone's angry about... The Jack the Ripper Museum

Isabelle Aron

We unpick the issues that have got Londoners all riled up. This week, it's the controversial Jack the Ripper Museum in Whitechapel.

So, what’s the story?

Back in July, a museum dedicated to notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper opened its gory doors in Whitechapel, decked out with skull and crossbones, a blood-smeared logo and a creepy silhouette of the never-identified murderer himself. The man behind the operation is Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, Google’s ex-diversity chief, who’s decided to try his hand at creating one of London’s most gruesome tourist attractions. Oh, and it’s just been voted the creepiest museum in London. Bravo!

Er, is that a good thing?

Well, no. Because the museum dedicated to a man whose leisure hours involved brutally disembowelling women was originally billed as a ‘Museum of Women’s History’. Naturally, the final billing got more than a few people’s backs up. Groups including the National Assembly of Women and Class War Women’s Death Brigade have held protests outside the museum since it opened, with another one planned for early November. Kate Connelly, who led one of the protests, said it was a ‘grotesque insult and not representative of women’s struggles’. Even its architect said he was duped – presumably they put the skull and crossbones up after he’d gone.

And what do the museum’s creators have to say for themselves?

‘We did plan to do a museum about the social history of women, but as the project developed we decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper,’ said Palmer- Edgecumbe. Sure, we get it: when it comes to getting the punters in, bloody murder trumps social history every time.

Want to go to one of London's less creepy museums? Take a look at our top ten.

Or find out when to visit London's busiest museums.

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