Tales from the Archives – Cautionary Letters to Three Youths
The message is clear; no ifs, no butts – don’t mess with Manchester Art Gallery
Under the Gallery, hidden in a labyrinth of corridors, lie the gallery archives. Behind its locked doors there are all manner of long forgotten stories and tales, of which this is only one…
It’s the tale of a crime that echoes down through the decades. There is a folder in the archives; its contents are mostly dry, boring insurance documents dealing with the transport of, and damage to, artworks. The exception is one file that describes an incident at Platt Hall; an incident that, in today’s Corona virus-stricken world of 2020, could possibly provoke anger, disbelief and moral outrage among certain quarters on social media; a crime that, even then, was serious enough to warrant the threat of prosecution under the Criminal Justice Act of 1914.
What kind of wrongdoing could possibly elicit such a heavy-handed response from the Gallery, bringing the full force of the law down on the culprits?