Following the controversial removal of 'Hylas and the Nymphs', Sleuth speaks to the curator

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth

Manchester Art Gallery to remove all paintings

As part of Presenting the female body: Challenging a Victorian fantasy, Manchester Art Gallery has removed Hylas and the Nymphs by JW Waterhouse (1896), which depicts several young topless women from its walls to ‘encourage debate’. 

A curator said to Sleuth, “Views of art history and views about representation have moved on, maybe we just need to challenge the way these paintings have been read, so we have removed the picture as part of that debate.” 

“And what about the other works that depict naked women, or men, or otters, or cheese, in the collection?” asked Sleuth, cocking an eyebrow and playing with some chi-chi glasses. 

“You’re right,” said the idiot (surely you mean curator? Ed.), “that’s why we’ve taken the decision to remove all the paintings and other artworks from the art gallery. You never know who, when or what you are offending and, after all everyone is a victim and nothing can now be judged objectively. If one person is offended then it all should be removed.”

Hylas Nymphs 3
MAG is to remove all paintings from the gallery as "everyone is a victim and nothing can now be judged objectively"

Manchester Art Gallery admits it's all a publicity stunt

Following the above story, Sleuth was passing the back of Manchester Art Gallery with a glass and just felt like putting it against the wall and to his ear. He heard this: 

“Ha, ha, have you seen all those morons on social media thinking we’re serious about getting rid of paintings such as Hylas and the Nymphs? That’s a really popular painting. We sell loads of merchandise on the back of it. We’re just doing this to get some media.”

Hylas Nymphs Mag Screen Shot 2018 02 02 At 08 03 03
The painting has been replaced with notes from visitors, including this...
Hylas Nymphs Mag Screen Shot 2018 02 02 At 08 01 40

Manchester Art Gallery: the truth

Breaking news. Sleuth has just received this press release from Manchester Art Gallery, it reads: 

‘You’re all thick and reactionary and old-fashioned. You’re all fascists. Why don’t you, the public, understand how much you, the public, really piss people in the arts, like us, off? As a state-funded, city-funded institution with artworks bought through public money why can’t you learn that we owe you nothing. Nothing. We talk about ‘outreach’ to the communities and you believe us, but really we’re just having a laugh, we love to be ‘out of touch’ with our communities. Er. That’s it. Now go away and leave us alone to talk together in our tiny little echo chamber.”

Manchester Art Gallery
MAG said: "‘You’re all thick and reactionary and old-fashioned"

Manchester Art Gallery: real press release revealed

The Scream