My kingdom for the Force? - expert disappointed by new Richard III visitor centre in Leicester

The white-painted depiction of the king’s armour which has gone on display in Leicester

The white-painted depiction of the king’s armour which has gone on display in Leicester

First published in News
Last updated

AN expert from the team which helped find body of Richard III has written of her disappointment with the new Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester.

Annette Carson said she and the "Looking for Richard Project" team was "saddened and profoundly disappointed by the exhibition" at the Richard III Visitor Centre which opened at the weekend.

A projected image of the of the king lying in his grave is "ghoulish" and a display of the king's armour which closely resembles a Stormtrooper from Star Wars is "grotesque", she said.

Ms Carson, author of Richard III: The Maligned King, wrote in an online article: "Other grotesque exhibits include the white-painted depiction of the king’s armour resembling a Storm Trooper from Star Wars, despite representatives of the council and university having attended the presentation by Dr Tobias Capwell in March 2013 where he described his armour and illustrated its actual probable appearance.

"As an example of the organisers’ taste in these matters, it was only by strenuous insistence that we removed the planned visual which was to greet visitors: the central throne was to be drenched in a sickening pool of blood which dripped down to form words written in blood on the floor below."

She said about the imagery of the dead body: "We know this will be devastating not only to those who had trusted that the discovery of Richard’s remains would be conducted with dignity, but indeed to all civilised visitors who believe in the concept of respect for the dead."

Ms Carson said the exhibition sidelines the efforts of the team which found the remains "despite our members’ years of research and ground-breaking discoveries" and misses out crucial details about original commissioning, funding and work

She also said it seems Leicester "will go to any lengths to imply spurious historic links with Richard III", even failing to attribute the 1485 minute from the York City records, well known to all Ricardians as that city’s statement of regret at his death.

The £4 million attraction opened on Saturday and allows visitors to see below their feet to the spot where the king was found by archaeologists in 2012. Although the actual bones are not on display there is a 3D printout of the skeleton.

Comments (5)

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11:13am Tue 29 Jul 14

Dave Ruddock says...

Thats what we get when modern, over zealous people that have no respect. Hope the modern day family and relatives sue for wrongful port rail of family and the country turn their back to Leicester.
Thats what we get when modern, over zealous people that have no respect. Hope the modern day family and relatives sue for wrongful port rail of family and the country turn their back to Leicester. Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 8

11:38am Tue 29 Jul 14

Zetkin says...

Nothing to do with modern disrespect, everything to do with making money.

I argued very early on that the unseemly scramble for the bones resembled a scrap between medival cathedrals for a saint's relics, and that the motive was exactly the same in the 21st century as the 12th: to attract pilgrims/tourists and extract money from them.

Let's not kid ourselves that York would have produced a masterpiece of historical interpretation either: "heritage" is not history, it's the repackaging and commodification of past events in order to turn a quick buck for an investor.
Nothing to do with modern disrespect, everything to do with making money. I argued very early on that the unseemly scramble for the bones resembled a scrap between medival cathedrals for a saint's relics, and that the motive was exactly the same in the 21st century as the 12th: to attract pilgrims/tourists and extract money from them. Let's not kid ourselves that York would have produced a masterpiece of historical interpretation either: "heritage" is not history, it's the repackaging and commodification of past events in order to turn a quick buck for an investor. Zetkin
  • Score: 26

5:35pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Alf Garnett says...

Zetkin wrote:
Nothing to do with modern disrespect, everything to do with making money.

I argued very early on that the unseemly scramble for the bones resembled a scrap between medival cathedrals for a saint's relics, and that the motive was exactly the same in the 21st century as the 12th: to attract pilgrims/tourists and extract money from them.

Let's not kid ourselves that York would have produced a masterpiece of historical interpretation either: "heritage" is not history, it's the repackaging and commodification of past events in order to turn a quick buck for an investor.
There already is such a facility in York, run by the Yorvik people. So kidding isn't an option.
[quote][p][bold]Zetkin[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with modern disrespect, everything to do with making money. I argued very early on that the unseemly scramble for the bones resembled a scrap between medival cathedrals for a saint's relics, and that the motive was exactly the same in the 21st century as the 12th: to attract pilgrims/tourists and extract money from them. Let's not kid ourselves that York would have produced a masterpiece of historical interpretation either: "heritage" is not history, it's the repackaging and commodification of past events in order to turn a quick buck for an investor.[/p][/quote]There already is such a facility in York, run by the Yorvik people. So kidding isn't an option. Alf Garnett
  • Score: 2

8:00pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Blythespirit says...

Alf Garnett wrote:
Zetkin wrote:
Nothing to do with modern disrespect, everything to do with making money.

I argued very early on that the unseemly scramble for the bones resembled a scrap between medival cathedrals for a saint's relics, and that the motive was exactly the same in the 21st century as the 12th: to attract pilgrims/tourists and extract money from them.

Let's not kid ourselves that York would have produced a masterpiece of historical interpretation either: "heritage" is not history, it's the repackaging and commodification of past events in order to turn a quick buck for an investor.
There already is such a facility in York, run by the Yorvik people. So kidding isn't an option.
Spot on. Then there's The Chocolate Story...
[quote][p][bold]Alf Garnett[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Zetkin[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with modern disrespect, everything to do with making money. I argued very early on that the unseemly scramble for the bones resembled a scrap between medival cathedrals for a saint's relics, and that the motive was exactly the same in the 21st century as the 12th: to attract pilgrims/tourists and extract money from them. Let's not kid ourselves that York would have produced a masterpiece of historical interpretation either: "heritage" is not history, it's the repackaging and commodification of past events in order to turn a quick buck for an investor.[/p][/quote]There already is such a facility in York, run by the Yorvik people. So kidding isn't an option.[/p][/quote]Spot on. Then there's The Chocolate Story... Blythespirit
  • Score: 6

8:26pm Tue 29 Jul 14

swardelu says...

The storm trouper costume is there to encourage children into the centre, but what mother would take her child to an empty grave site and tell the story of how R iii was taken after killed on the battle field stripped naked, abused and thrown hands tied into a grave which was too small for his body.
The storm trouper costume is there to encourage children into the centre, but what mother would take her child to an empty grave site and tell the story of how R iii was taken after killed on the battle field stripped naked, abused and thrown hands tied into a grave which was too small for his body. swardelu
  • Score: 2

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