“It’s only words,” Barry, Robin and Maurice told us in 1968. But it seems words have stirred up a whole hornets’ nest over in Sydney where the Museum of Words has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Or right reasons, depending on what your take is on all this.
Initially set up, in the words of curator, Charles Firth, “to encourage people to spend time reflecting on words outside of their everyday use,” events took a turn for the worse/ better when he later described the museum as a scam. It appears Mr Firth’s intentions were to highlight the lack of Arts funding for his own project the Sydney Writers Room. (The museum received a $30,000 cultural grant from the city of Sydney for the exhibition.)
Words were ‘loaned’ by a variety of Australian public figures, including Julian Assange (‘consent’), Gina Rinehart (‘perseverance’) and Lord Mayor Clover Moore (‘sustainability’), with an audio tour that explained the etymology of each word.
Ironically Firth’s word was ‘love’ – there doesn’t seem to be much out there for him at the moment.