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The best of British booze culture – it’s the museum of Wetherspoons

16 December 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Competitively priced lager and cultural excursions may not traditionally go hand in hand, but all that may be about to change with news that the pub chain JD Wetherspoon is to open a museum dedicated to itself. Yes, really.

The projected culture palace is to be developed on the premises of a boozer in Wolverhampton called the Moon Under Water, and is being developed as part of Wetherspoon’s 40th-anniversary celebrations in 2019. The proposal comes as part of a £7m regeneration plan, which will also see the five-storey building in which the pub is located converted into a hotel. ‘We […] feel the museum will prove popular with people who want to know more of the history of the company and see artefacts from the past,’ a spokesman from the chain commented.

One can’t help but speculate as to what the museum will contain. To date, Wetherspoon’s most notable contribution to matters aesthetic has been its William Morris-esque practice of outfitting every one of its pubs with a unique carpet that reflects the name or local history of the relevant establishment. What George Orwell – who coined the Moon Under Water moniker when conjuring up his own, imaginary ideal of a pub – would make of it all is anybody’s guess.

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