Beware comparisons..

When I saw this report at the weekend I had my doubts about its veracity. But there are direct quotes and it seems to be genuine. Although, the story is probably more revealing than was intended. Looking closely it seems the curator of an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Trisha Ziff, submitted a provisional list of invitees to the official opening of the exhibition of the Argentine-born Ernesto Guevara de la Serna – Che Guevara: Revolutionary and Icon. Included on that list was the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. But whoever had to approve the list apparently decided that it would be “neither relevant or appropriate” to send an official invitation to the SF leader.. the report on iol.ie notes that it was suggested that the curator could invite him as her personal guest.

But Gerry Adams’s response is, as I said, probably more revealing than intended:

“I think its[the V&A] 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.”

BTW, the family connection, apparently, was his great-great-grandfather, who was born in 1715 and left Ireland sometime after that firstly for Spain, then Argentina.

The V&A Museum’s statement of purpose is worth pointing to:

The purpose of the Victoria and Albert Museum is to enable everyone to enjoy its collections and explore the cultures that created them; and to inspire those who shape contemporary design.

But threaded through the reported comments by Adams there appears to be an attempt to draw a comparison between Che Guevara and himself, as in this part of the report:

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 & Albert Museum, of refusing to invite politicians, it would appear that if Che was still alive he would be barred from his own exhibition. The British Establishment works in wondrous ways.”

Also interesting are the final lines of the report which reveals:

However, even if the invite had been issued, Mr Adams would have been unable to attend. He is due to travel to Spain next month to meet Basque political parties in the wake of the ETA ceasefire.

Well, I suppose that if Ernesto Guevara de la Serna could attempt to export his tactics to the Congo and to Bolivia..

However, critics of the Cult of Che might suggest it isn’t a comparison that should be encouraged, even if it does play well to certain audiences.

But, even if you were an adherent to the myth, what sort of an ego would you need to encourage that comparison yourself?