A very interesting article in todays Gazette (03/10/08) on page 15, which raises concern over the future of the Sea Bathing Hospital Dolls and their future. The Gazette now raises the question for the first time of artefacts being removed from the Margate Museum. Considering that the majority of items in the Museum are property of Thanet District Council, interested parties should be really concerned . Even though the items maybe a donation, it can be assumed they can do whatever they like once the Museum is closed because the EKMT agreement ceases to be, simply because TDC are the legal owners. We could all cry foul because under Charity commission rules disposal would come under Charity Commission guidelines. But Charity Commission guidlines only apply to the EKMT as they are the registered charity. Now considering that all items in the Maritime Museum are EKMT aquisitions then they are protected by Charity Commission guidelines as EKMT has enjoyed charitible status.
Unless TDC has given up ownership of the items in the Margate Museum to the Charity(EKMT) then there is nothing TDC can do but follow the Charity Commission guidelines. Somehow I do not beleive TDC would such a thing because firstly because their collection of art and artefacts are worth more than £500,000 plus all the records of items of art and artefacts in the Margate Museum are stored on CD's and kept in the TDC safe. So it can be assumed that TDC are the legal owners and they in fact paid a Charity (EKMT) to look after their collection.
This does raise a question to the ownership of donated items to the Margate Museum when the Museum was under charitable status, because the donor forms which are a legal agreement between the donor and the museum, states that the donation is to the Museum and not TDC or the EKMT.
This is something the Council's solicitors should really need to address, who are the legal owners of what ? before there there is any talk of removal.