Saturday, 28 May 2011

The cultural desertification of Barnet continues - the case of MoDA

Well, I hope I'm wrong, but it looks as though another cultural asset in Barnet - OK, just inside Enfield's borders, but only just - is going to be lost.

Middlesex University is closing its Cat Hill campus and, you won't be surprised to hear, selling it to property developers. Cat Hill courses, students and staff are squashing into the Hendon campus from September 2011.

Everyone at Hendon will have to budge up tighter again in coming years, since the university plans to close its Trent Park campus in due course. (The property developers will have a field day there: they could build a whole new town on that site...) I understand things are already tight at Hendon, with the library full to bursting, and students struggling to find accommodation in the Hendon area.

Meanwhile, the closure of Cat Hill means that the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MoDA) which was based there has had to find a new home as well. It is being accommodated at Beaufort Park, Colindale. Surprise, surprise, the collection will no longer have a gallery open to the public or capable of accommodating school visits. People will have to make an appointment if they want to see the collection.

MoDA's blog seeks to make this move sound like a good thing, but somehow fails. These stories about some of the exhibits being packed up for transporting to the Geffrye Museum and other museums which will be their home from now on strike a poignant note. Let's face it, Barnet and environs appear to have lost another museum.

P.S. There is still time to join the campaign to save Barnet Museum. Keep checking the Barnet Museum website for the latest developments.

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