27 May 2008

Darwin's statue safely moved

Last week I reported on the impending move of Darwin's statue from the café of the Natural History Museum in London to its more dignified original location at the top of the grand staircase. Well, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've been into the central hall and seen for myself that the scaffolding is down and Darwin looks just splendid up there (photos coming soon).

Read for yourself the official NHM news item and today's news coverage in ... wait for it ... The Daily Mail. Yes, there's our Charlie mixed in with the fishnets and footballers gossip. What's worse, although they get the general facts right about the statue and its move (most likely from an accurate NHM press release), the Mail has tacked on a rather ugly first sentence:

"Charles Darwin's theories have sometimes been accused of being elitist. So the father of modern science would surely have been pleased to be given pride of place in one of the world's most prestigious museums."

How can a theory (or set of theories) be elitist? Or are they implying that Charles Darwin was an elitist himself? It seems to me that they are, and I simply cannot let this pass: he most certainly wasn't elitist. Quite the contrary: he was delighted to learn that On the Origin of Species sold well in railway stations and he wished to be buried with quiet dignity in his local churchyard (he was buried in Westminster Abbey against his prehumous wishes). Oh, Guardian, where are you when we need you? It's not too late! Oh well, at least the pictures are nice:

Darwin statue
The statue of Charles Darwin is hoisted back into its place in the central hall of the Natural History Museum

The statue of Charles Darwin will take pride of place next to a Diplodocus skeleton, in time for Darwin 200, a nationwide programme of events in 2008/9 celebrating the bicentenary of Darwin's birth

The statue is moved during the night by a team of engineers

More pictures here.


James said...

Indeed! You guys rocked out!

valdemar said...

Gosh, I wonder if the Daily Mail's nasty, empty gibe was due to that paper's editor being a bigoted Catholic? No, surely no editor would interfere with a straight news item in such a way...
Good news that CD is getting the treatment he deserves, anyway. Sometimes I wish I lived in London. It's just so full of, like, stuff...

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that first photo is worthy of another caption competition. My entry: the chap in the hard hat is saying, "Can you smell fish?"