Beds, Herts & Bucks

Royston Museum makes 'art' out of nothing

Museum sign Image copyright Royston Museum
Image caption Temporary signs during refurbishment works are amusing museum visitors

Museum staff were amazed when a picture of an empty display case sign and full description of its emptiness went viral on social media.

Amy Judd, assistant at Royston Museum in Hertfordshire, was asked to put up a sign of apology while display cases were refurbished.

Instead she labelled it "empty case... containing wood, cloth, air... representing the time between taking objects out and putting new ones back".

More than 6,000 people liked the Tweet.

The photograph of the "daring display" posted by the museum's curator and manager Madeline Odent has also been shared more than 1,000 times and has attracted dozens of comments.

"This belongs in the Tate Gallery," wrote one person, while nearby Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire called it "genius".

"ArtDecider, which semi-seriously determines whether any given oddity in Heritage is 'art' or not, has labelled our display as 'art', so we're fairly proud of that," said Mrs Odent.

Image copyright Royston Museum
Image caption The museum may be small but it now has a large following on social media

It is not the first time the museum's Twitter feed has been littered with "joke" posts.

An empty case was given a sign suggesting what could be seen inside - nothing - was similar to what you might see on a foggy day, and when Iron Age artefacts were temporarily taken away, an actual iron was put in their place.

Image copyright Royston Museum
Image caption Not the actual Iron Age
Image copyright Royston Museum
Image caption Earlier this week an empty case was described as "a foggy day... where nothing could be seen"

Mrs Odent, who runs the museum with Mrs Judd and about 40 volunteers, said: "It's fair to say it's always been a bit like this - we're a small museum but we have fun and it's all about engaging with the public."

Mrs Judd, who is responsible for most of the jokey signage, said: "We just want to show we're real people with a real sense of humour - and this gives us all a laugh."

Since posting the photograph earlier this week, Mrs Odent said the museum's Twitter followers had doubled to about 2,000.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites