Wednesday 21 August 2019

UK museum in talks over Donald Trump baby blimp

The announcement comes as the huge inflatable is expected to fly again during this week’s state visit by the US President.

The Museum of London is hoping to put the Trump Baby balloon on display (Yui Mok/PA)
The Museum of London is hoping to put the Trump Baby balloon on display (Yui Mok/PA)

By Sherna Noah

A museum is in talks to acquire the Donald Trump Baby blimp.

The Museum Of London plans to display the huge inflatable, which depicts the US President in a nappy and clutching a mobile phone, as part of its protest collection.

The owners of the famous effigy are keen for it to go to the museum, it said.

The announcement comes as the Trump Baby blimp is expected to fly again during this week’s state visit, which includes a private lunch with the Queen and a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

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The Museum Of London(David Parry/PA)

Museum Of London director Sharon Ament said it would also like to display the Sadiq Khan balloon, which depicted the London Mayor in a yellow bikini.

“They’re both really important and of their time,” she told the Press Association.

“They characterise a satirical characteristic of British people, the way in which we sometimes respond to big issues using satire.

“They acknowledge the social discourse and dialogue in society at the moment.”

She said the museum began talks with the owners of the famous Trump blimp last year.

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US President Donald Trump (Brian Lawless/PA)

“We are in an open discussion and they are very warm (to the idea). They would like it to come to the museum,” she said.

Of the Khan blimp, which was used as part of a campaign seeking to remove the London Mayor from office, she said: “We are trying to connect with the people who made it.”

The museum, which tells the story of the capital from 450,000 BC to the present day, is moving from its base near the Barbican to a larger site in 2024.

The balloons are so huge that “we won’t be able to display them until we move to our new site in West Smithfield,” the director said.

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An inflated blimp of London Mayor Sadiq Khan depicted in a bikini (David Mirzoeff/PA)

“We don’t own the object and the owners are still making use of it,” she said of the Trump effigy. “It’s up to them to decide when they are ready to donate it.”

The Trump balloon was flown above Parliament Square last year and its owners have been given the green light by the Greater London Authority, headed by the London Mayor, to fly it once again.

The blimps would go on display alongside a “powerful” range of objects in the museum’s protest collection, including banners from the Suffragettes and tents which belonged to late peace campaigner Brian Haw.

Ms Ament said the blimps are “rich” objects, shedding light on “how people protest in London”.

“It’s extraordinary how some objects can capture the public imagination; certainly the balloon really did.”

Asked how the US President would respond to a museum displaying the blimp alongside important historical objects, she said: “You’d have to ask him that question.”

PA Media

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