Museum curator’s employment is a private matter, says Royston Town Council

PUBLISHED: 17:31 03 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 03 August 2020

Royston museum curator Madeline Odent. Picture: DANNY LOO

Royston museum curator Madeline Odent. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

Royston Town Council has said they will not speak publicly about the employment status of museum curator Madeline Odent, eight weeks after an inquiry was launched as a result of her tweets about damaging statues.

The posts from Madeline Odent’s personal Twitter account in June gave advice on using substances found in household products to damage public statues. They were posted in the wake of the toppling of the slave trader Edward Colston statue in Bristol during Black Lives Matter protests.

The tweets sparked outrage from many, and there was also support for the curator. The police issued her with “strong words of advice” at the time.

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The town council released a statement on June 11, in which they said councillors “deplore and condemn all criminal acts including damage to statues and monuments, and incitement to commit unlawful acts” and that they instigated an independent inquiry.

When the Crow has asked whether Ms Odent was still employed as curator and manager, the town council responded today – saying it’s a “private matter”.

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

The Crow also raised concerns of a ‘like’ from Meridian ward town councillor Marguerite Phillips’ Twitter account, to a tweet from Conservative former MEP David Bannerman. The tweet read: “Why is it offensive to say white lives matter – as well as black lives? We’re witnessing outbreak of madness.”

It was put to the council that the curator has been investigated and potentially sacked for her actions, and it seems no action has been taken over the liking of the tweet which could be deemed offensive or missing the point of the Black Lives Matter movement. The tweet no longer appears on Mrs Phillips’ likes.

When asked about Madeline Odent’s employment and Marguerite Phillips’ Twitter use, Royston Town Council told the Crow: “An employer’s relationship with its employees, both past and present, is a private matter between the employer and employee. Royston Town Council would ask for that to be respected. The council will not engage in speaking publicly about confidential individual staff matters.”


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