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dilemma

02 November 2016 - QH article 002: dilemma 


Nine weeks is surely an unreasonable period of time to wait for any reply from a national museum. But as disappointing as this is, it echoes 2013 when the same museum failed for over 20 weeks to answer my membership email enquiry to a catch-all mailbox. I rest my case, in vexation with major institutions which show scant regard for the general public. However, the current delayed response from Royal Museums Greenwich is not entirely surprising. They may have an ethical dilemma…


Problem 1:

RMG have verified that the public reprimand I received from one staff member was incorrect. In effect, this means that the member of staff was either lying or mistaken. If it is the latter, then the person concerned has been mistaken for many many years and the museum is culpable in failing to train staff correctly. Consideration of the former, is equally unpalatable but definitely possible. Now I realise it is the duty of HR to support the workforce, but to uphold the testimony of an employee (proven in this instance to have been rather less than trustworthy) is perhaps a little presumptuous, if not injudicious. How can RMG be sure the individual concerned was not lying or mistaken when identifying the ‘unspecified’ abuse? The degree of doubt should be apparent, yet RMG are dallying over a version of events which portrays me as the villain, albeit notwithstanding the fact that I was simply minding my own business when I was so rudely interrupted by a shouting museum officer from across the Sammy Ofer entrance hall. I’m sure RMG would prefer to validate their actions by calling on other staff witnesses present, but this initiates…


Problem 2:

All other staff present could not, or would not state the museum policy regarding public photography or videoing. This alone is quite alarming. If one member of staff in that location were to have known the standards, the situation could have been resolved immediately.


Consequently, the fate of my cultural freedom rests on RMG making the correct ethical decision. I trust they will have the integrity to do so.