Golliwog On School Wall: Mum Complains About Racist And Offensive Image

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum complains over school's golliwog painting

A mum has said a painting in a school featuring a golliwog is 'racist and offensive'.

The painting, which is part of an historic mural at Wardie Primary in Scotland, came to the attention of Mary Rocha when she visited the school interested in applying for a place for her son.

She complained to the police, the city council and MSPs when she came across the 1936 work of art which features the story of Alice in Wonderland across nine panels.

The mural had been restored in 2011 with a £17,600 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Ms Rocha said the panel with the golly was 'inappropriate' in a school and should be removed or covered up.

"It's an inappropriate image for a primary school gymnasium and assembly hall. It's one thing if it was a museum piece or an exhibition, where you might explain what a swastika was or Ku Klux Klan outfit. It goes back to the American black sambo, the blacked-up face. It's offensive to me: I find it racially offensive," she said.

The scene depicts the golliwog sitting on an alcove ledge above the Alice in Wonderland figure in the mural's central panel.

The Edinburgh News reports that experts are unclear as to why the golly is in the scene as it does not feature in the Lewis Carroll's story. They speculated that it may have been added to promote Robertsons' jam, which used to have a golliwog on its logo.

An HLF spokeswoman said it would now contact the school to discuss the controversy, but the city council ruled out covering up the image. It did however say it would use additional teaching packs from Show Racism the Red Card at the school.


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