Plan for Kew Gardens to ‘decolonise’ its displays might breach the law, think-tank warns
Plans to ‘decolonise’ collections at Kew Gardens could breach legal obligations, a think-tank has warned.
Policy Exchange said the botanic gardens in west 伦敦 may be contravening the National Heritage Act 1983, which sets out the institution’s statutory responsibilities.
In March Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew provoked controversy when it vowed to reword display boards to show how plants played a part in British colonialism.
The new report, written by journalist and former student at Kew Ursula Buchan, calls on Environment Secretary George Eustice to launch a review into RGB Kew’s alleged violations of its powers and duties.
It accuses Kew of engaging in ‘forays into non-scientific, and indeed politically charged, activities’ and is understood to have support from Downing Street, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Flower beds in front of the The Palm House At The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, 伦敦
A new report calls on Environment Secretary George Eustice (图为) to launch a review into RGB Kew’s alleged violations of its powers and duties
RBG Kew has defended the plans and said they were ‘within the remit of our charter under the Heritage Act’.
The plans also included changing display boards for plants such as sugar cane – previously harvested by slaves – to highlight their ‘imperial legacy’.
A senior government source told the newspaper: ‘It is shocking that a great British public institution, funded by taxpayer money, should be at variance with the Act under which it was established.
‘As this paper shows, it is vital that Kew’s reputation as a world-leading centre for the study and preservation of botany will be restored.’