Slavery Gets First Permanent Museum: Mercy Eze Reports from Liverpool, United Kingdom

By Eze, Mercy | New African, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Slavery Gets First Permanent Museum: Mercy Eze Reports from Liverpool, United Kingdom


Eze, Mercy, New African


Tucked in the stillness of Liverpool's Albert Dock within the Merseyside Maritime Museum now sits the world's first permanent museum devoted to the transatlantic slave trade. The International Slavery Museum shows the horrific instruments used in the slave trade and reiterates all the well-known, yet ever appalling, facts of transatlantic slavery, but also explores further both the historical and contemporary aspects of slavery, in an attempt to shed more light on the abominable injustices of slavery.

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The Merseyside Maritime Museum had already received international acclaim for its pioneering Transatlantic Slavery Gallery. Established in 1994, the exhibit continues to attract a significant number of visitors, bringing international attention to the history of slavery and an increased understanding of the consequences of the trade within the modern world.

The success of the gallery prompted the museum group to broaden their vision in order to address ignorance and misunderstanding by looking at the deep and permanent impact of slavery and the slave trade on Africa, South America, the USA, the Caribbean and Western Europe.

In line with the Liverpool City Council's 1999 apology for its involvement in the slave trade, the city wanted to demonstrate its commitment to shedding light on the slave trade by creating the world's first permanent museum devoted to the transatlantic slave trade and hopes to further elevate the issue of African enslavement and its consequences to a global stage.

The mayor of Liverpool, Paul Clark, summed it all up when he told New African that "the new museum represents all that the world wants to hear about slavery and its legacies". …

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