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Campaign launched to shape new Museum of London – Interview with Digital Curator Foteini Aravani

Campaign launched to shape new Museum of London – Interview with Digital Curator Foteini Aravani
© Stanton Williams, Secchi Smith and Asif Khan Studio Mir

The Museum of London is embarking on a new chapter as it calls for the public to share sporting stories and collections they would like to see at its new home in West Smithfield in 2026.

Working with Sporting Heritage CIC, the Museum of London is seeking views and stories from past, present and future that reflect the rich heritage and diversity of the capital.

The Museum of London, which first opened in 1976, has showcased the ever changing story of our capital and its people with its galleries, exhibitions and displays that have attracted millions of visitors over the years. Currently based at London Wall, its relocation will be completed in 2026. 

We caught up with Museum of London Digital Curator Foteini Aravani to learn more about its plans for capturing sporting history, the vision for representing London’s sporting heritage and her insights into emerging cultural trends. 

You can share your sporting stories and views here. 

In discussion with Foteini Aravani

Foteini Aravani

How do you envisage telling the story of sport through the new museum?

Foteini: Museum of London has embarked on a year-long Programme around sport in London. We want to collect objects that capture Londoners’ experience of sport, we want to unveil untold stories and capture unheard voices from different communities. We want to work with Londoners to explore how sport could be represented in the new London Museum.

What are some of your favourite works that you have come across?

Foteini: The Sport Programme at Museum of London includes a wide range of different strands of activity. We are working with young people (ages 16-25) to document their experience of sport and developing partnerships with different community groups to collect personal stories; from the story of Capoeira in London to the history of dominoes in the Caribbean communities.

Can you share insights into some of the emerging trends you’ve seen recently within London culture and sport?

Foteini: I feel that recently, there is a focus on highlighting the stories of everyday people and not only famous athletes or big football clubs. Stories from people that empowered and supported their communities using sport as a vehicle. Some of the stories we are exploring are of young Muslim women who started their own football club to play football freely without being judged, to the perspective of contemporary cisgender and transgender women and how their relationship to their bodies has shifted through body confidence of weight training and gym culture.

Latin American families watching football on Clapham Common / © Julio Etchart

How should London’s vibrant sporting heritage be represented in your view?

Foteini: In my opinion, London’s Sporting Heritage should be weaved in the wider history of London. We cannot tell the story of London without its football, the history of boxing, the London Marathon or the Olympic Games. Sporting Heritage should not be siloed, it is part of London’s DNA.

Proposed London Museum Campus / © Secchi Smith

With the Museum of London opening at its new home in West Smithfield in 2026, what kind of stories and viewpoints will you be seeking to share with the public?

Foteini: The museum will explore key moments in London’s history. It will celebrate and challenge, it will consider big contemporary topics and themes that draw contrasts and connections between then and now. We want to work with Londoners to shape the content of the New Museum. This piece of research we are doing with Sporting Heritage aims to identify some of the sport themes and topics to consider for the New Museum.

The London Museum by night / © Stanton Williams, Secchi Smith and Asif Khan Studio Mir

How can Londoners get involved or find out more?

Foteini: Sport is an integral part of London life, to ensure the Museum captures and reflects the sporting stories, events and collections you want to see, please take 5 minutes to share your views and sporting stories. Your input is essential and so appreciated.

Share your sporting stories and views on the future of the London Museum. 

Source: London Issue

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