Trump ‘Baby Balloon’ Joins the Museum of London Collection

TOPSHOT - A giant balloon depicting US President Donald Trump as an orange baby floats above anti-Trump demonstrators in Parliament Square outside the Houses of Parliament in London on June 4, 2019, on the second day of Trump's three-day State Visit to the UK. - US President Donald Trump turns …
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

The Museum of London has acquired the 20-foot inflatable caricature of President Donald Trump, which was a mainstay of anti-Trump protests.

The Trump ‘Baby Balloon’ was designed by a UK self-described “anti-fascist art activists” collective, paid for through crowdfunding donations. A spokesman for the group behind the blimp previously described it as an “obscene mutant clone of the president”.

In a statement released on Sunday, the creators said that they hope the placement of the balloon in the Museum of London will serve as a reminder to stand up against the “politics of hate”.

“While we’re pleased that the Trump Baby can now be consigned to history along with the man himself, we’re under no illusions that this is the end of the story,” the statement said, according to The Guardian.

“We hope the baby’s place in the museum will stand as a reminder of when London stood against Mr Trump – but will prompt those who see it to examine how they can continue the fight against the politics of hate.

“Most of all we hope the Trump Baby serves as a reminder of the politics of resistance that took place during Trump’s time in office.”

The director of the museum, Sharon Ament, claimed that the decision to add the Trump balloon was not political, saying: “Of course the museum is not political and does not have any view about the state of politics in the States.”

Ament said that the Museum of London had been “determined” to acquire the effigy in 2018, adding: “We did not know then what would transpire.”

The Trump baby balloon — which has recently arrived at the museum “squashed” up in a suitcase — will be displayed amongst other artefacts in the protest collection that already features items from the Suffragette movement, climate change activist rallies, and peace activism.

Brexit leader and longtime Trump ally Nigel Farage said of the balloon in 2018: “Sadiq Khan has allowed an inflatable ‘Trump baby’ blimp to fly in London. This is the biggest insult to a sitting US President ever.”

“Would this be happening if it was Obama? Makes London look ridiculous,” Farage added.

At the time, President Trump said: “I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan — who had a longstanding feud with President Trump, even going so far to call for the president’s visit to the UK to be cancelled — approved the balloon to be flown in the British capital on the grounds of “free speech”.

Mr Khan has not been a champion of the right to free speech in other instances, however, calling on Silicon Valley tech giants increase censorship of so-called hate speech in 2018 and has poured millions of pounds into creating an “online hate crime hub” targetting “trolls” who “target… individuals and communities”.

A Labour Party-run council removed an “offensive” painting of the left-wing mayor adorned in a so-called ‘Mankini’ swimsuit, just weeks before the Trump baby balloon was permitted to fly in London.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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