Royston museum curator issued advice from police following tweets on destroying statues

Royston and District Museum's curator and manager Madeline Odent has been spoken to by police after

Royston and District Museum's curator and manager Madeline Odent has been spoken to by police after tweeting about ways to destroy bronze statues. Picture: Archant - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

“Strong words of advice” have been issued to the curator of Royston’s district museum by police after a series of posts describing ways to damage statues were made from her social media account.

The posts from Madeline Odent’s Twitter account gave advice on using substances found in household products to damage public statues in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests up and down the country. The story has appeared in yesterday’s Daily Mail and The Sun newspaper today.

A spokeswoman for Herts police told the Crow: “Following reports regarding comments made on a private Twitter account about the way damage can be caused to statues, we have now spoken to all of the parties concerned.

“Strong words of advice have been issued with regards to the content of the tweets and the use of social media, and the information has now been removed.”

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald said he has received many messages from residents shocked by the tweets.

He said: “I deplore criminal damage to national monuments and statues in public places. It is important to respect the rule of law and there is a democratic and lawful process to remove statues.

“I condemn providing information on how to destroy statues. This is completely unwarranted and wrong and reports of these tweets have caused outrage locally.”

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UPDATE JUNE 12 - Mrs Odent’s employer Royston Town Council has now released the following statement:

“Royston Town Council deplores and condemns all criminal acts including damage to statues and monuments, and incitement to commit unlawful acts. The council strongly believes that any removal or modification of statues should be performed in a legal and consensual way, using the democratic and lawful process already in place.

“The council has instigated an external independent enquiry into the recent use of social media by one of its employees. This will ensure that the process is completed free from any political influence and should provide a fair and measured conclusion.

“We uphold the right of council staff to express their own personal opinions via their own private social media accounts, but this does not mean that we endorse or agree with those views. The appropriate authorities should investigate any views that express criminal intent. The next full meeting of the council will agree any further action in respect of this matter.

“The safety of all our staff and buildings remain paramount at this difficult time and we continue to follow the advice from the police.”

The Crow has contacted Mrs Odent for comment.