A museum intended to recognise and celebrate the women of East London has instead been dedicated to notorious prostitute serial killer Jack the Ripper.
The scheme, put forward by former Google diversity chief Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, promised “the first women’s museum in the UK”.
But when residents saw the subject matter had changed to detailing the brutal murders of women in the 19th century, as opposed to celebrating their history, they were furious.
The building in Cable Street in Whitechapel is painted black and red and features a sinister silhouette of a man in Victorian dress for its logo.
Opponents to the museum now think it represents misogyny rather than women’s achievements.
The planning application compiled by Mr Palmer-Edgecumbe’s architects, Waugh Thistleton, last year featured women from a range of ethnic backgrounds campaigning for equal pay and rights.
The document submitted to Tower Hamlets Council in August 2014 detailed the museum's "mission and purpose".
The application states: "Our missing is to inspire a passion for, and understanding of, the history of women in East London and beyond.
"We will do this through increasing public awareness, appreciation and understanding of the role of London's women in the social, political and cultural heritage of London."
It promised to "create a world class museum" that will depict women's contribution to British history.
People are outraged that the purpose of the museum has changed, as the role of women through history has been "reduced to a red smudge".
Jack the Ripper Museum Cable Street Whitechapel. Where women have been reduced to a red smudge pic.twitter.com/SJ0mTTVdIH— Lisa Mckenzie (@redrumlisa) July 28, 2015
It's REALLY disturbing that they were told it was going to be a suffragette and women museum and instead they put in Jack the Ripper.— Mad baker Jinxe (@jinxekitty1) July 29, 2015
Who in hell thought a #JackTheRipper museum would be a good thing? Glamorising and fetishizing violence against women - for entertainment?— Sweary Socialist (@SwearySocialist) July 28, 2015
Pretty poor show that a museum that promised to be the 'first women's museum in the UK' is now a Jack the Ripper museum— WetheHums / Louise (@WetheHumanities) July 29, 2015
.@PalmerEdgecumbe promised to build “the first women’s museum in the UK” - he lied and has built a Jack The Ripper Museum instead.— Rossalyn Warren (@RossalynWarren) July 29, 2015
The museum is set to open next Tuesday. Residents want the council to look at whether they can reverse the decision to give it the green light.
The Evening Standard reports that Mr Palmer-Edgecumbe said: “We did plan to do a museum about social history of women but as the project developed we decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper.
“It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place.”
Tower Hamlets Council has been approached for comment regarding the change of use of premises.