‘Rooted In Colonialism and Racism’ – National Museum ‘Cancels’ Steam Trains

YEOVIL, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: A historic 1920s 'Mogul' steam locomotive is couple
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

In the latest effort from British institutions to cancel British history, National Museum Wales (NMW) has declared that the use of steam trains is “rooted in colonialism and racism”.

National Museum Wales (Amgueddfa Cymru) owns a to-scale replica of Richard Trevithick’s steam-powered locomotive, which debuted in 1804 when it replaced a team of horses. It pulled a train nearly ten miles along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks — a groundbreaking achievment widely perceived to be “ahead of its time”.

However, the Welsh government-sponsored NMW has now pledged to “explore how the slave trade linked and fed into the development of the steam and railway infrastructure in Wales” as they conduct a woke audit their collection — which could lead to the placement of a disclaimer next to their engine replica dubiously connecting it to the slave trade.

While NMW —  which runs the National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon National Wool Museum, National Slate Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, and National Waterfront Museum — has admitted they can not prove “direct links between the Trevithick locomotive and the slave trade”, they insist that the locomotive is still complicit as “links to slavery are woven into the warp and weft of Welsh society”.

“Trade and colonial exploitation were embedded in Wales’ economy and society and were fundamental to Wales’ development as an industrialised nation”, the museum alleged in an official statement.

It is unclear how this relates to the Cornish inventor Trevithick, who has no personal links to slavery, and while some investors in the railroad were slave owners there is no evidence to suggest that they were connected to Trevithick, The Telegraph reports.

The colonialism audit comes after National Museum Wales launched a so-called “Charter for Decolonising” which plans to “identify collections linked to colonial aggression and the transatlantic slave trade”.

It has attributed the initiative to the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming it inspired them to “confront history and challenge present-day injustices”.

Black Lives Matter were responsible for multiple riots and attacks on historical British monuments and statues during the Summer of 2020, including an attempt to burn the Union flag on the Cenotaph — a monument dedicated to all falllen soldiers from the United Kingdom and its former empire — and the repeated vandalisation of the statue of Second World War leader Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square.

BLM deonstrators also tore down a historic statue of Edward Colston, a parliamentarian and philanthropist with some then-unremarkable business links to the slave trade — in Bristol.

The Charter for Decolonising claims that “Museums and their collections are often rooted in colonialism and racism – Amgueddfa Cymru [National Museum Wales] is no different.”

One of the other examples they use to suggest their collection is racist is a handkerchief from the 19th century that commemorated the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.

The museum has suggested that as the handkerchief contains the the “Union Jack, the Royal Standard, and White Ensign flags” alongside an inscription of  “WORLD WIDE EMPIRE”, it “is a visual representation of the celebratory, unchallenged narratives of Empire that we are finding across the collections”.

Ironically, Victoria’s reign began after the total abolition of slavery in the British Empire and was marked by a sustained and energetic campaign by the Royal Navy to stamp out the slave trade worldwide — a feat which would have proved impossible if Britain was not a great imperial power.

Speaking to Breitbart London, GB News host Darren Grimes branded the attempted cancellation of the locomotive as “absurd”.

“The steam train revolutionised travel with the ability to transport both passengers and cargo, it allowed us to ensure coal could travel and power an empire. That empire had its good and its bad, but having been part of an industrial revolution responsible for ensuring billions don’t find themselves in poverty, or dead at childbirth, strikes me as an unapologetically good thing”, Grimes said.

“It sounds like the only steam emanating from the National Museum Wales these days is a steaming pile of bull,” he added.

Political commentator Sophie Corcoran told Breitbart London that the museum’s decision to attempt to rewrite history was “pathetic” and noted that “trains aren’t racist”.

National Museum Wales joins a multitude of publicly-funded British museums that have attempted to denigrate British history following the BLM riots by tenuously linking items and individuals featured in their collection to the slave trade, empire, and colonialism.

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