The Museum of London may have sadly shut the doors to their London Wall site in late 2022, but that was only to get preparations underway for their new site in West Smithfield. And in anticipation of that, they’re checking the durability and preservation of some of their exhibits. One such exhibit is the Baby Trump blimp, which the museum recently reinflated to check the piece’s structural integrity.
The expectation is that the Baby Trump blimp will go on show when the Museum of London opens their new site. Now, does that mean visitors might be treated to the sight of the blimp soaring overhead at the museum? That all depends on how well the blimp has held up over the years. Having been constructed out of a material similar to a beach ball, there’s a high likelihood that it has degraded. The inflation test that the Museum of London undertook on the blimp will determine how long the inflatable can hold air, and what repairs need to be made.
The inflatable was originally flown back in 2018. It flew overhead above demonstrators during protests against Donald Trump’s visit to London. Trump’s return the following year was marked, in turn, by the return of the blimp as well. The makers of the work, Matt Bonner and Imagine Inflatables of Leicester, then donated the blimp to the museum back in 2021. There it joined a collection of artefacts and pieces related to protest.
The future of the Museum of London
The Museum of London will open their new West Smithfield site in 2026, where they will also rebrand as the London Museum. The new site will offer an increased capacity, allowing the museum to show off even more of their collection. They’re also expected to be offering extended opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays, perfect for late-night museum wanderers. Until it opens, their sister site in Canary Wharf remains open.