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Museum of London livestreams fatberg artefact


The Museum of London has added chunks of the Whitechapel fatberg to its permanent collection, and is livestreaming one piece to viewers.

The museum first displayed the artefact at the Fatberg! exhibit, which closed on 1 July 2018. The Museum of London have added the remaining parts of the Whitechapel fatberg into its permanent collection.

The fatberg is a highly toxic pieces of sewage that blocked sewers under Whitechapel. It will be stored in quarantine at the museum’s store, alongside artefacts from across London’s history.

The museum has also created a bespoke case with a camera. This will allow them to livestream it at all times for the world to see.

The artefacr is made up of faeces, fats, oils, wet wipes and sanitary products. A purple and orange tag on one of the original samples was identified by researchers as a Double Decker chocolate wrapper.

As reported in the Guardian, Vyki Sparkes, the curator of social and working history at the museum, said: “The samples of the Whitechapel fatberg have proven to be very powerful museum objects, provoking strong feelings of fascination and disgust in our visitors while encouraging them to reflect on a serious challenge facing the city.”

“Fatbergs are created by people and businesses who discard fat and rubbish into our historic sewer system. By adding these samples to our permanent collections, we are preserving material evidence of how we live now and, as we change our habits and attitudes, fatbergs could well become history.”

Sharon Robinson-Calver, the head of conservation and collection care at the museum, said: “Since going off display, the fatberg has started to grow visible mould, which we have identified as aspergillus. We believe this started while the fatberg was on display and we’re currently monitoring the mould and working to control it.”

Image courtesy of the Museum of London

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Michael Mander

Michael Mander

I am a journalist from Essex, England. I enjoy travelling, and love exploring attractions around the world. I graduated from Lancaster University in 2018. Twitter @michael_mander.

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