Museum of Words Sanctifies “You’re Fired”

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Filed under: Literary Hoaxes

From Joe King: The founder of Museum of Words, which he founded as a joke, is sacked.

Australia: ‘Museum of Words’ sacks founder
…as found by BBC Monitoring
13 November 2013

The Museum of Words in Sydney has sacked its own founder after he described the project as a “scam”, it is reported.


Charles Frith, an Australian comedian, said he wanted to “scam an arts grant”, and a museum of words seemed like the cheapest option, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. “The original idea was to spend 150 dollars on the museum and the rest on booze for the opening-night party,” Charles Frith said.

To his surprise, the city of Sydney granted the museum some 30,000 Australian dollars ($28,000; £17,500), and the museum opened on 9 November. Perhaps even more astonishingly, many celebrities responded to his request to “donate” words which they would not use while they are on loan at the museum. It now exhibits the printed word “consent” from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and “perseverance” from mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, among others.

However, the museum only received a polite apology from Buckingham Palace. “‘My wife said the Queen was the only person who picked it as a scam,” the Canberra Times quotes Firth as saying.

The founder’s remarks did not go down very well with other managers running the museum. They convened an urgent meeting, and it was not difficult to guess what was on the agenda. “Yep. They’ve sacked me,” tweeted Charles Frith. “Ironically, I’m at a loss for words.”