28 May, 2006

Irish Independent: Petulant Adams sees red over Che exhibition snub


IN A fit of hitherto hidden petulance from a man who now regards himself as an international statesman striding the world stage, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was last night aghast to be described as "neither relevant or appropriate".

Mr Adams has been gravely upset by what he believes is a deliberate snub by a bastion of Britain's cultural life. He is incensed that 35 years of republican activism have not opened the doors of a prestigious British museum to him - so he can pay his respects to his hero, Che Guevara.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London had refused to invite him to its Che Guevara exhibition, claiming that his presence would be neither relevant or appropriate on the launch night.

"I think its stance is especially absurd given that this particular exhibition is about an iconic revolutionary figure, with family connections to Ireland, who fought against injustice and oppression both in Cuba and in South America," Mr Adams sniffed.

What miffed Mr Adams most was that he had been invited to the opening of the Che Guevara exhibition in the V&A next month by its curator, Trisha Ziff.

According to Mr Adams, Ms Ziff was told that all her invite list was approved "except Gerry Adams who is neither relevant or appropriate for this occasion".

Mr Adams, who has consistently denied allegations that he is a member of the IRA's army council, said one possible reason for the museum's decision was that it was OK to struggle against injustice, but not against British injustice.

"On the basis of the current 'reason' offered by the Victoria and Albert Museum, of refusing to invite politicians, it would appear that if Che was still alive he would be barred from his own exhibition," said Mr Adams.


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