December 4, 2021


Future Technology

Web sleuths spot British Museum gaffe online

Image caption

The British Museum has been posting its collection online during the coronavirus pandemic

The British Museum is updating its online collection after mistaking a copyright notice for the name of a Turkish postcard-printing company.

The museum described “Her Hakki Mahfuzdur” as “Turkey’s largest producer of postcards”.

But a Turkish diplomat on Twitter pointed out the phrase means “all rights reserved” – and is not the name of a stationery company.

The British Museum replied: “Whoops! Thanks for pointing this out.”

The institution has been uploading images of its collection online during the coronavirus pandemic, to give people a way to access artefacts digitally during lockdown.

The postcard error was spotted by Kutluhan Celik, who works at the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs in Ankara.

Euronews journalist Michael Daventry tweeted the British Museum to point out the error.

The museum replied: “Our team are on it. We’re always looking to improve our collection online and know there are few teething issues.”

However, the institution was criticised for the error.

One person on Twitter said the mistake was “pretty concerning for a museum of record”.

“Not just misunderstanding it and creating an erroneous catalogue entry, but then extrapolating purely on the basis of one’s own catalogue that this was the ‘largest producer of postcards’,” said Dr Lisa Gilbert..

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