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Council's museum PR is "laughable"
PROTESTORS fighting to save Kingswinford’s world famous glass museum have been left stunned at Dudley Council’s latest spin campaign.
Broadfield House Glass Museum, which the council wants to close by April 2010 to help save costs, is now boasting a giant Dudley Council poster which says ‘I love my museum’.
The banner, which has been hanging in the window at the Compton Drive museum, also says: “This year my council has invested more than ever in museum facilities.”
Glass expert Graham Cooley told the News: “It’s jaw-dropping. It shows there has been no joined up thinking within the council. The PR department, those responsible for the budget and the councillors aren’t talking to each other.”
Kingswinford councillor Dave Tyler said: “It’s laughable - it just shows Dudley Council really hasn’t got its act together looking after our heritage. I don’t think they can be trusted to look after the glass heritage.”
John Sanders, of the Friends of Broadfield House Glass Museum, said the plan to close Broadfield was becoming more “confused” by the day.
Meanwhile, a host of esteemed glass experts have added their support to the campaign to save the museum, which has one of the finest glass archives in the country.
Jane Spillman, of New York’s prestigious Corning Museum, is among nearly 1,000 people who have signed an online petition launched by The Glass Association to fight the closure.
She said: “It would be a great shame if this internationally important museum were to be closed to the public. There is nothing else like it in the UK.”
Reino Liefkes, curator of glass at London’s V&A museum, has also signed the document, saying: “Broadfield House Glass Museum is a centre of excellence of national importance. It has also a key function in keeping the rich regional heritage of Stourbridge alive."
Dudley Council’s cabinet voted on January 7 to close the museum and transfer its collection to Wordsley’s Red House Glass Cone - to help achieve a £120,000 saving.
The decision is to be rubber-stamped as part of the council’s budget plans at full council on March 2 although campaigners, councillors and MP Ian Pearson have called for proceedings to be delayed until a feasibility study has been carried out.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley’s cabinet member for the environment and culture, has since confirmed the council’s directorate of the urban environment will be commisioning a study to determine options - although it has yet to be decided who will carry it out and when it will get underway.
To join the fight to save Broadfield House go to website friendsofbroadfieldhouse.co.uk and click on ‘protest’ then ‘petitions’ - or vote on our online poll below.