Diana Johnson MP today made the case for the Gypsy Moth aircraft that Hull’s Amy Johnson flew to Australia in 1930 to be shown in Hull.
The Hull North MP is backing the idea of the historic aircraft being brought to Hull for the 2016 Amy Johnson Festival and the 2017 City of Culture.
The Science Museum in London have so far been refusing to allow this to happen.
In an exchange today in the House of Commons during Business Question, Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: “Tomorrow is the second anniversary of Hull being granted UK City of Culture for 2017.
“The Science Museum received £20m worth of taxpayers’ money, but they’ve told Hull that it’s not possible to move the Gypsy Moth airplane that Hull’s Amy Johnson flew to Australia in 1930 – the first woman to do that - to Hull for the Amy Johnson Festival in 2016 leading into the 2017 celebrations.
“So I wondered whether we could have a debate on the obligations on national arts organisations and museums in this country to work with Hull leading up to City of Culture 2017; and also for Hull’s history to actually be displayed in Hull?”
Leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling, replied: “First, let me congratulate the city of Hull on its achievements. I had some sight of the city of culture year in Liverpool a few years ago, and thought that city did a fantastic job. I also saw the impetus that it can create within a city. I am sure that if Hull goes through the same process of preparation—and excitement, frankly—about the city of culture year, it will be a great boost to the city.
“The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will be here next week. The hon. Lady will want to raise the issue again, so I will make sure that he is made aware of her comments today. She is absolutely right to say that I would hope and expect our great national museums and other institutions to play their part in supporting our regions as well as being centres of national excellence.”
The message that Diana Johnson MP’s office received on 28 October from management at the Science Museum is copied below:
“Apologies for my delayed response. Following on from your enquiry in August I’ve spoken to our Curatorial team. They have confirmed that their decision remains that the Gipsy Moth cannot be lent due to resource constraints and the disruption which would be caused by removing the object from display. This would be an incredibly expensive de-installation and not something that we can support at this time."