The Gloucestershire Echo's political reporter Jack Maidment launches his new column today: Quango Unchained:
WHAT do the Louvre, Cairo’s Egyptian Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art all have in common?
Two things actually. They are all home to astounding collections of art and artefacts.
But more than that, they all have good, simple, old-fashioned, does what it says on the tin type names.
The Louvre is housed in the Louvre Palace, while the Egyptian Museum showcases thousands of Egyptian antiquities.
With that in mind, how on earth have we arrived in a situation where Cheltenham Borough Council has spent £10,000 on coming up with three new names for the town’s newly refurbished art gallery and museum which range from mediocre to flat out terrible?
Option number one: C-MAG.
Apparently this is the acronym of Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, but if you switch the words “art gallery” and “museum” around.
I don’t care. It sounds like an uninspiring name for a family car.
Option number two: 51.
At the risk of using the word “literally” in the wrong context, this is literally just the street number of the museum.
Did we really need to spend £10K to be able to tell people that yes, indeed, the museum is located at 51 Clarence Street?
Finally, option number three: The Wilson.
Clearly the least objectionable option and thankfully the front runner which cabinet members were likely to agree on at a meeting last night.
If we have to pick from that list I am opting for The Wilson every time – even if it does make me think of tennis rackets and Tom Hanks losing his mind on a desert island.
Now, I am not denying that the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum deserves a rebrand. After spending just shy of £6 million on renovating the building it would be wrong not to try and maximise its success with a sexy new logo and some interesting promotional material. I am just not convinced that any of the options that have been presented will do that. Maybe I am old fashioned, but what’s wrong with calling Cheltenham’s art gallery and museum Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum?
Elsewhere, the Liberal Democrats have descended on Glasgow for the party’s annual conference and proceeded to accidentally send a confidential “lines to take” document, given to MPs to prepare them for interviews, to a bunch of journalists.
The document stresses that the conference finds the party in a “confident mood” and asks MPs to remind people of their “strong record” in government. Meanwhile Labour “cannot be trusted” on the economy and the Conservatives “on their own cannot build a fairer society”. And who said conference season was boring?