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British Museum meme telling women to ‘walk around looking confused’ to meet men at Roman army exhibition sparks sexism row, writes RICHARD EDEN

When George Osborne became chairman of the British Museum, he may have thought it would be a cozy sinecure, a world away from the scandals and bitter arguments he was used to at Westminster.

Instead, the Conservative former Chancellor of the Exchequer is now presiding over a new controversy at the 270-year-old London institution, this time over alleged sexism.

The row was sparked by a message from the museum’s social media team. Promoting the Life in the Roman Army exhibition, the post stated: ‘Girls, if you’re single and looking for a man, this is your cue to head to the British Museum’s new exhibition, Life in the Roman Army go and walk around looking confused. You’re welcome x.’

It adds: ‘Come for the Romans, stay for some romance’, and shows five red imperial banners featured in the show.

The post was a light-hearted reference to a recent trend on social media in which women share clips of themselves and express bewilderment at how often the men in their lives think about the Roman Empire – in some cases more often than sex.

Promoting the Life in the Roman Army exhibition, the post stated: ‘Girls, if you’re single and looking for a man, this is your cue to head to the British Museum’s new exhibition, Life in the Roman Army go and walk around looking confused. You’re welcome x’

The post was a light-hearted reference to a recent trend on social media in which women share clips of themselves and express bewilderment at how often the men in their lives think about the Roman Empire – in some cases more often than sex.

The post was a light-hearted reference to a recent trend on social media in which women share clips of themselves and express bewilderment at how often the men in their lives think about the Roman Empire – in some cases more often than sex.

When George Osborne became chairman of the British Museum, he may have thought it would be a cozy sinecure, a world away from the scandals and bitter arguments he was used to at Westminster.

When George Osborne became chairman of the British Museum, he may have thought it would be a cozy sinecure, a world away from the scandals and bitter arguments he was used to at Westminster.

This is just the latest furor to hit the museum since Osborne became chairman in 2021.  Last year it was announced that about 2,000 of his treasures had disappeared.

This is just the latest furore to hit the museum since Osborne became chairman in 2021. Last year it was announced that about 2,000 of his treasures had disappeared.

Last year, Osborne was criticized by Downing Street after the museum opened talks about temporarily returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece for display.

Last year, Osborne was criticized by Downing Street after the museum opened talks about temporarily returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece for display.

However, the reference was apparently lost on many who responded angrily to the museum’s post.

“Incessant fascist imagery and sexism came on top,” says Dr Claire Millington, a visiting scholar at King’s College London and former excavator on Channel 4’s Time Team. She compares the imperial banners to those displayed at Nazi rallies.

“(I) can’t believe this is an official message from the British Museum,” said another academic.

Another social media user claims: ‘We were at that exhibition today and the level of mansplaining was off the charts.’

In response, the museum deleted his post and a spokesperson explained that “mansplaining” was “the butt of the joke.”

The spokesperson emphasizes: ‘We’re not actually suggesting that women should look for dates or pretend to be stupid. Apologies to anyone who was unaware of the wider context and was offended by this meme.’

Dr. Millington dismisses this as a ‘non-apology’.

This is just the latest furor to hit the museum since Osborne became chairman in 2021. Last year it was revealed that around 2,000 of its treasures had disappeared, amid reports last year of ‘unheard’ security warnings. A staff member was fired.

Last year, Osborne was criticized by Downing Street after the museum opened talks about temporarily returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece for display. A spokesperson for Number 10 suggested the move was a ‘slippery slope’ that could lead to the return of other disputed antiquities.

Boris’ boy gets a bear hug on the catwalk

Tennis star Boris Becker destroyed his reputation when he was jailed for hiding £2.5million in assets, despite declaring himself bankrupt. However, his son Elias is determined to show that he is the cuddly one of the family.

The 24-year-old model appeared on the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week in a coat made of teddy bears. He says the creation from Swiss fashion house Vetements made him feel “warm and fuzzy.”

Boris Becker's son Elias appeared on the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week in a coat made of teddy bears

Boris Becker’s son Elias appeared on the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week in a coat made of teddy bears

Tennis star Becker destroyed his reputation when he was jailed for hiding £2.5million in assets, despite declaring himself bankrupt

Tennis star Becker destroyed his reputation when he was jailed for hiding £2.5million in assets, despite declaring himself bankrupt

Elias’ mother is Becker’s first wife, Barbara Feltus, an actress and designer, to whom he paid £11 million when they divorced in 2001 after eight years of marriage.

The body is back! At the age of 59, Elle owns the catwalk

Elle MacPherson proved she’s still ‘The Body’ as she approaches her 60th birthday by returning to the catwalk for the first time in 14 years.

The Australian model showed up at the Melbourne Fashion Festival in a pastel yellow trench coat and matching trousers by Bianca Spender.

Born in a Sydney suburb, Macpherson says: “This felt really rewarding because I am passionate about supporting Australian fashion and young designers, and I love Melbourne.

“I’m grateful to be coming home, not to necessarily be seen as an icon, but I’m grateful for my Australian heritage.”

Princess Anne’s horse event reaches a hurdle

Princess Anne is already working even harder than usual due to her brother’s cancer treatment and has suffered a new blow.

The Festival of British Eventing, held at her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire since 1983, has been canceled because it has become ‘unfeasible to organise’.

The Festival of British Eventing, held at her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire since 1983, has been canceled because it has become 'unfeasible to organise' (Photo: Princess Anne at The Festival of British Eventing 2023)

The Festival of British Eventing, held at her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire since 1983, has been canceled because it has become ‘unfeasible to organise’ (Photo: Princess Anne at The Festival of British Eventing 2023)

Her son, Peter Phillips, the events director, said: “It is with a heavy heart that the festival cannot take place this year. The event played a major role in my family’s lives and that of many others.’

His father, Captain Mark Phillips, who founded the event with King Charles’ sister when they got married, explains that costs – particularly insurance – have risen so much since the pandemic that the figures no longer add up. “It’s the end of an era,” he says.

Dame Jilly Cooper – whose latest novel, Tackle!, features Rupert Campbell-Black buying a football club – is no fan of the women’s game.

“I’m not really into women’s football,” says the bonkbuster author, 87. “I love my own gender, but I like to see (men) zipping around being macho… it’s my heterosexuality.”

Restaurant kitchens are full of workers suffering from communication and addiction problems, claims three Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge.

“Kitchens have a lot of chefs in them who maybe have ADHD, some form of communication issues, or people who aren’t very social – or they’re really social and prone to addiction issues – or people who don’t adhere to the norms of society,” he tells the High Performance podcast.

Restaurant kitchens are full of workers suffering from communication and addiction problems, claims three Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge

Restaurant kitchens are full of workers suffering from communication and addiction problems, claims three Michelin star chef Tom Kerridge

‘It attracts people who are a bit left-wing, a bit outside normal social thinking.’

Dame Darcey Bussell gained millions of new admirers when she became a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, but her fellow former Royal Ballet soloist Carlos Acosta will not be following in her graceful footsteps. “Strictly is not for me,” says the Cuban star at the launch of his production Nutcracker In Havana, which he choreographs and directs. ‘I like to choreograph and don’t want to be tied down. That level of exposure is not me.

‘I don’t want people to say, “Look, that’s so-and-so from television.” I danced with the Bolshoi, the Royal Ballet, and that’s what I want to be known for.’