Curators at the Museum of London are hoping to permanently keep a mouldy slice of fatberg in its archive for future generations.
The chunk of fatberg – which is made of a build up of grime, fat, wet wipes and oil – was chopped off a “monster fatberg” that weighed 130 tonnes and was found in a sewer beneath Whitechapel, London.
It has been on display in the museum since February as part of an exhibition that ends on Sunday.
But the museum wants to keep the slice of fatberg – which is officially classed as hazardous waste and has flies and mould growing in it, as a permanent fixture in its archives.
Museum conservator and self-professed “fatberg boffin” Andy Holbrook told HuffPost UK that preserving the fatberg is historically important as it tells the story of modern urban life.
“We’re writing a paper now for our collection committee [seeking approval to keep it as a permanent archive] – we don’t know if fatbergs will become a thing of the past, or if they are [an indication of] the way we’re living and a product of our diets right now,” he told HuffPost UK.
He said the exhibition had been one of its most popular, with footfall to the museum roughly doubling when it first opened.
Fans had also sent lots of unsolicited artwork, including poems and a photograph of a child’s birthday cake decorated to resemble a fatberg. Sales of fatberg t-shirts, bags, and fudge have also been high.
Vyki Sparkes, another curator at the museum, added: “Along with these creative endeavours, countless visitors to fatberg have inspired to change the way they dispose of fat and wipes, showing how museums can play a key role in addressing the challenges of city life.”