ISIS Beheadings Enter The “Crime Through Time” Museum Amid Controversy
"We are a crime museum, what do you expect?" says owner.
The “Crime Through Time” tourist attraction, located inside the former Littledean Jail in Gloucestershire is notorious for its staging of controversial exhibitions on themes like the Holocaust, Ku Klux Klan, and serial killers. But its most recent exhibition is perhaps the most upsetting thus far.
The newest show is centered on ISIS, and comes complete with graphic and violent photographs and videos of beheadings the jihadist militant group has carried out and released on the Internet.
The museum’s owner, Andy Jones, has defended his decision to mount the show describing the display as “educational.” He has also negated the idea that the display had anything to do with the disturbing images’s shock factor. “Obviously it’s quite controversial–we are a crime museum so what do you expect,” Jones told the Gloucester Citizen.
However, Jones maintains that there’s nothing on view in the show that hasn’t already been available on the Internet. He argues that “[People] should aim their anger at the authorities that allow this graphic material to be put out there on the Internet in the first place.”
As for responses from the authorities, Member of Parliament Keith Vaz is quoted in the International Business Times saying, “This is grotesque and I urge the owner not to open the exhibition.”
The senior Labour MP stressed that the exhibition would cause anguish to families of the victims of Isis, including Britons David Haines and Alan Henning, both beheaded by the Islamist militant group.
The BBC reports that Gloucestershire police is well aware of the exhibition but has received no complaints about it so far.
A spokesman said: “To our knowledge the owner has not placed any material about the exhibition on social media, and there does not appear to be any requirement for police investigation.”
Jones remains unmoved by calls to shut down the show: “People may feel that it is insensitive and that what Isis have done is still very raw but everyone is talking about it. We cannot ignore it.”
He also voiced concerns about the group’s reach in the UK. “I personally believe that there are already a great number of splinter cells around this country,” he opined.
Isis has slaughtered thousands of people, most recently in an attack inside the Bardo museum in Tunis (see Gunmen Kill 23 Including Tourists in Attack at Tunisia’s National Bardo Museum, and Nine Arrests as ISIS Claims Credit for Bardo Museum Attack in Tunisia and Security Threats Force Bardo Museum to Postpone Reopening).
The militant jihadist group has also launched attacks on cultural heritage sites across the Middle East (see ISIS Destroying Iraq’s Cultural Heritage One Site at a Time and 8,000 Books Burned by ISIS in Massive Iraqi Libricide and ISIS Bulldozes 3,000-Year-Old Major Assyrian Site in Nimrud, Iraq).
Follow artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.