Should children be banned from museums?

February 19 2014

Image of Should children be banned from museums?

Picture: Stephanie Theodore

Following the Donald Judd-as-climbing-frame moment at Tate Modern (above), Ivan Hewitt and Dea Birkett debate in the Telegraph whether children should be allowed in museums. Both make useful and silly points, but Dea Birkett is of course right that museums need to be more child friendly. More here

Update - a reader writes:

Of course children shouldn't be banned from museums, but what could be looked at are the number of school groups visiting, particularly the National Gallery. I understand that the best way to protect the future of Galleries & museums is to encourage young people from as early an age as possible, but on a visit two weeks ago it was almost impossible to move with any freedom around the galleries, by the sheer number of school groups. It must be in everyone's interest that these visits are staggered, it must be the NG's responsibility to see to this for everyone's enjoyment.

There's something in this. I went the NG last week at about 2pm, and in some rooms it was indeed impossible to move for school groups, though I use that in only the vaguest sense of the term. They weren't groups being guided or taught, as you might expect, rather overseas groups seemingly dumped at the Gallery for a period of time, and consequently mainly chatting. Loudly.

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