A museum space that Tower Hamlets Council approved believing it was set to show the historic achievements of women in east London has been unveiled as the Jack The Ripper Museum.
The venue was given the go ahead last year, but what opened in Cable Street has been a shock, with people reacting angrily on Twitter.
The museum features a sign written in blood-red paint and pictures of coffins on the front of the building.
The planning application included images of suffragettes and Asian women campaigning in the 1970s against racist murders in Brick Lane – with no mention of Jack The Ripper.
The application read: “The museum will recognise and celebrate the women of the East End who have shaped history, telling the story of how they have been instrumental in changing society.
“It will analyse the social, political and domestic experience from the Victorian period to the present day.”
In its favour, it cited the 2013 closure of Whitechapel’s Women’s Library in Old Castle Street, calling the new scheme, “the only dedicated resource in the East End to women’s history”.
Former Google diversity and inclusion chief Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe is responsible for the tourist attraction, and has defended the change.
He told the Evening Standard that he had intended to open a museum about the social history of women, but ended up deciding a story about Jack the Ripper from the victim’s perspective was more interesting.
He said: “It is absolutely not celebrating the crimes of Jack the Ripper but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place.”
The council has stated that it has “no control in planning terms of the nature of the museum” but that it will investigate any unauthorised works that may have been carried out.