‘We will be back’, vows London’s Vagina Museum
Volunteers said a fond farewell to The Vagina Museum in east London last night as the establishment closed its doors. The museum was recently made homeless, but staff say they are “quietly optimistic” that it will survive.
“We’ve had quite a lot of contact with people reaching out with interesting ideas and the Elizabeth Fry Refuge has offered us storage space while we’re between homes,” the museum told us.
Despite high rents, they say the museum is only viable in London “because our volunteers are all London-based”. On the last day, staff got to take home part of the exhibition. “I plan to put the vulva diversity sign above my bed,” said one.
Christie’s told to give up looted art
Christie’s auction house has been told to surrender Adriaen van der Werff’s The Penitent Magdalene by a French court. The 1707 painting was stolen from Paris by the Nazis in 1942. It has long been listed on the Répertoire des biens spoliés, France’s directory of looted art.
Christie’s says it was unaware of this backstory when it first sold the work two decades ago. The Hauser family, heirs of the original owner, have been trying to get the painting back for years, with little luck. They rejected various proposals from Christie’s, including a sale in which the proceeds would be shared out, and describe the ruling as “justice”. Christie’s will now face a daily fine from the court until the painting is returned.
For the love of huns
What is going on at Tatler? First they put a footballer at the front of the Little Black Book, now they are bigging up Gemma Collins from The Only Way Is Essex. In a piece charting the rise of “huns”, the society bible cites The GC as an authority. Huns, Gemma says, “want to see the fabulous in every day because there’s a lot of s*** going on in this world. Boris Johnson is a hun. He just gets it.” Blonde bobs stick together.
Grindr gets a mention in the Commons
Tory MP Elliot Colburn marked LBGT History Month in the Commons by quoting the first gay chat-up line in history, “how lovely are your buttocks and how muscular your thighs,” said by an Egyptian god. He went on to make a risqué joke about another MP’s profile on Grindr, the gay dating app. That makes another bit of history — it’s the fourth parliamentary mention of Grindr in Hansard, the House of Commons transcript.
Norton makes time for launch
Happy Valley’s James Norton, singer Ronan Keating and his TV producer wife Storm helped launch a range of Six Nations branded watches at the new Breitling Townhouse last night. Across town, comedian Aisling Bea, presenter AJ Odudu, and actor Emily Atack were seen partying after the Vanity Fair EE Rising Star nominations in south London. The event celebrated the new acting talent ahead of this month’s BAFTA awards. Atack has been in the news lately after speaking up about sexual harassment.