Daily Mail goes berserk over Beano “farting statue” idea for new V&A Museum

Classic modern art from the 1963 Beano Book

Classic modern art from the 1963 Beano Book

British daily newspaper the Daily Mail has gone into outrage overdrive over a leaked memo which it claimed suggested London’s Victoria & Albert Museum had plans to turn its galleries over to the Beano, which apparently include augmenting the cast of Michelangelo’s David to make a farting noise as visitors pass.

In fact, the Beano tie in plans are all still in discussion – and they relate to the new V&A Museum of Design situated in Dundee, which will open next year, when The Beano also celebrates its 80th anniversary.

Ideas in the leaked memo sound great to us, including adding comic illustrations to the case containing Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook and a display of catapults, the weapon favoured by Dennis the Menace, the comic’s most famous character.

They’re also completely in keeping with the kind of projects The Beano and publisher DC Thomson have been engaged in for years which the Mail’s reporter “Sebastian Shakespeare” seems totally unaware of, such as major art installations on London’s South Bank or working with top designer Wayne Hemingway.

Of course, the Daily Mail goes pretty much apoplectic about virtually anything, and it’s a paper that on occasion seems unconcerned if the facts get in the way of a good headline, especially if they can lambast a former Labour MP in the process.

The paper’s article name checked Tristram Hunt, the V&A director, in its first sentence. We suspect this isn’t a coincidence.


The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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