Let the music play on?

By Rosanna Holmes,
4th February 2010 - 08:00
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Nearly 4,000 people, including musicians and curators, have signed a petition calling on the Prime Minister ‘to ensure that all members of the public have continued, free and open access to the complete historic and valuable musical instrument collection entrusted over generations to the Victoria and Albert Museum.’
 
At the moment, the V&A’s collection of 260 musical instruments shares space with fashion in gallery 40. But the room is due to close for refurbishment on 22nd February to become an exhibition purely on the history of the dress.
 
The museum said it acquired and displayed the instruments as works of art rather than items associated with the history of music. Some will go on display in the furniture gallery, which opens in 2010, and in the new Europe 1600-1800 galleries when they open in 2014. The rest will be moved from the museum and loaned to other British institutions such as the Horniman Museum in London.
 
Campaigners have called the removal a ‘destruction’ and say this ‘short-term decision will have long-term negative results for scholars and music lovers alike.’
 
Do you agree? Or do you think fashion should take the place of the musical instruments?
 
Post your comments here or on the forum.