rom toronto harry potter

ROM replaces Canadian art gallery with Harry Potter show and people are upset

A staple of the Royal Ontario Museum's (ROM) exhibit and galleries has been temporary closed and replaced by a Harry Potter setup.

After a Toronto Reddit post blew up for claiming that a certain Canadian art exhibit had been closed for good and moved for the wizard show, I decided to do some digging.

For reference, the post claimed that the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada, featuring 560 Canadiana displays, was forever removed in favour of the magical (and sometimes controversial) Harry Post adjacent theme, Fantastic Beasts.

A emailed inquiry to the ROM did confirm the Sigmund Gallery was "temporarily closed" for Fanastic Beasts and the upcoming T. rex exhibition, which opens in March.

But the Sigmund Gallery and its Canadian pieces are not gone for good.

It has simply closed while "plans to relocate the Canada collection into a new and improved gallery space are in development," according to a ROM spokesperson.

"Creating a great museum experience is about continually rethinking our environment and refreshing galleries and public space to remain relevant and better serve our visitors. We are constantly looking at ways to make the museum more open, accessible and engaging to the public."

Of course, museums are constantly evolving and bringing in new shows, but it seems that some aren't too happy that others prefer more popular or (don't @ me) interesting topics.

One could argue that it doesn't necessarily look good that the Canadian exhibition was the one to be replaced, but on the other hand, others could question who the exhibition was serving.

Since the permanent gallery opened in 2007, the Sigmund Gallery mainly covers "the period from the early years of European settlement to the beginnings of the modern industrial era, and reflect mainly Canada's French and British cultural heritage, with broad representation prior to 1850," according to a news release from that year.

However, this doesn't mean there aren't any Canadian exhibits left, as the ROM is hosting a few new shows. 

Canadian Modern which opens on Dec. 3 is a "celebration of Canadian design innovation offering an engaging lens through which to examine and appreciate Canada's unique place in the modern craft, fashion, furniture and electronics movements."

Cree artist Kent Monkman's Being Legendary exhibition opens on Oct. 8 which showcases his "shape-shifting, time-travelling, gender-fluid alter ego, the legendary being Miss Chief Eagle Testickle" while the exhibition "depicts how deeply Indigenous knowledge is embedded in the lands of Turtle Island," according to the ROM.

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