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Nursing Mom Makes The Breast Of It After Museum Tells Her To Cover Up

A pulpit for Pisa Cathedral by Italian sculptor Giovanni Pisano, showing a woman breastfeeding, was on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in October 2016. This weekend, a breastfeeding museum visitor says she was told to cover up, which the museum says violates its own policies.
A pulpit for Pisa Cathedral by Italian sculptor Giovanni Pisano, showing a woman breastfeeding, was on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in October 2016. This weekend, a breastfeeding museum visitor says she was told to cover up, which the museum says violates its own policies.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has apologized to a breastfeeding visitor who says she was told to cover up.

The woman, who posts on Twitter as @vaguechera, says she had "flashed a nanosecond of nipple" in the museum's courtyard when she was told to conceal her breasts. Instead of bearing that in silence, she busted out her phone and started tweeting.

She ribbed the V&A, pointing out that the museum seemed totally fine with some bare bosoms — as long as they were made of stone instead of flesh.

She tweeted an image of herself beside " Peasant woman nursing a baby," with the comment, "am perplexed."

She tweeted images of " Mankind," " Pluto and Proserpina" and " Vertumnus and Pomona," among other pieces in the V&A, all of which prominently featured nude female breasts. (The woman has since made her Twitter account private.)

A now-protected tweet shows a statue at the Victoria and Albert museum.
Vaguechera / Screenshot by NPR
/
A now-protected tweet shows a statue at the Victoria and Albert museum.

The museum responded to apologize, saying that "women are welcome to breastfeed in the museum."

The director of the museum also spoke up, saying the museum's policy clearly says breastfeeding mothers "[should] not be disturbed."

The woman in question told the BBC that she appreciated the apologies and the widespread support she received.

"That said, clearly not everyone is aware of the legal protection that women are afforded when feeding in a public space," she told the BBC. "Policies are important, but they only work if staff are supported to understand and carry them out."

Still, the incident didn't totally ruin her trip to the museum.

She said she had a fine time "exploring depictions of breasts through the ages and making lovely mammaries."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A now-protected tweet shows images of statues in the Victoria and Albert museum.
Vaguechera / Screenshot by NPR
/
A now-protected tweet shows images of statues in the Victoria and Albert museum.