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Fuelling culture war, UK government forms new ‘retain and explain’ board for controversial monuments
“Independence cuts both ways,” UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden warns museums and heritage bodies
The UK culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, has told cultural institutions that curatorial “independence cuts both ways” in the latest salvo fired by the government in its bid to “retain and explain” controversial monuments and historic statues.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph under the headline, “We won’t allow Britain’s history to be cancelled”, Dowden announced that a new heritage board had met to discuss how heritage organisations could put “retain and explain” into practice. Its members include Trevor Phillips, the former director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the historian Robert Tombs.