Met Crime Museum Exhibition

HLS

The Met’s hidden crime museum should become a temporary exhibit with profits reinvested into frontline policing

The Met should open up its secret 150 year old Crime Museum collection to the public and turn it into a profitable attraction, according to a new report.

“History’s Life Sentence” proposes that the Met, instead of opening a costly stand-alone museum¹, should tender a contract to private exhibition operators for showcasing rights and reinvest the generated profits into frontline policing.

An initial temporary three month exhibition in a pre-existing London museum could attract as many as 300,000 visitors and pay for an additional 54,900 front line police hours².

The hidden collection includes items such as letters from Jack The Ripper, evidence that led to the prosecution of the Great Train Robbers, nooses and death masks from capital punishment executions.

Roger Evans, GLA Conservatives’ Police and Crime Spokesman and author of the report said:

“These hidden historic crime artefacts are a vital part of London’s history and their appeal to the public eye is evident. Exhibits such as letters from Jack The Ripper will likely prove enormously popular with residents and visitors to the City who already demonstrate a fascination with the more macabre chapters of London’s history. Many of the exhibits showcase the impressive work undertaken by the Met in some of the Capital’s most high profile investigations. It is a no-brainer that during a period when budgets are tight, the Met should not only open up the Crime Museum collection to the public but also profit off its exhibition and put that income into protecting Londoners.”

 
 


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NOTES:
¹The report cannot recommend the creation of a stand alone museum due to the substantial cost of establishing and running museums in London. These organisations are by no means designed to cover their own operating costs and are subsidised so as to provide cultural and educational experiences. Given the current state of public finances and mounting pressure on the Met’s budget, such an expensive option would not currently be feasible.
²These figures are estimates and purposely conservative. The potential appeal of this collection would suggest that in reality, far more profit could be generated and used to fund frontline policing. The Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the National Gallery in London ran for 3 months in 2012 attracting 323,897 visitors. Last Year the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts attracted 132,926 visitors whilst 140,546 people visited the Hajj exhibit at British Museum. Given the broad appeal of both the Crime Museum’s collection and the draw of viewing exhibits previously locked away from the public eye, it could realistically lead to visitor numbers around 300,000 over a three month exhibition. If entrance was charged at £15 a ticket, the exhibition could look to bring in up to £4,500,000. Even if the Met were able to receive just a fifth of this turnover, it would pay for 54,900 additional front line police hours. It should be noted that these figures are speculative and that without market testing, it would be impossible to ascertain the level of demand.

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