The Welsh Government has told its National Coal Museum to teach “decolonised” history through the lens of ethnic minorities.

Wales, which is 93.8 per cent white, is calling on the former Blaenavon pit to play its part in making the principality “anti-racist”.

The Big Pit National Coal Museum was founded in 1983 to shed light on the legacy of one of Wales’ historic industries.

However, Labour’s beleaguered First Minister Vaughan Gething has pushed ahead with proposals to force heritage sites to offer a “decolonised” view of the past which recognises “historical injustices”.

View of the winding tower powering the lift in the shaft leading down to the former Big Pit coal mine at the Big Pit National Coal Museum

View of the winding tower powering the lift in the shaft leading down to the former Big Pit coal mine at the Big Pit National Coal Museum


Museum Wales, which is backed by Cardiff Bay, is bound to follow Welsh Labour’s directive to set “the right historic narrative”.

Under these plans, museums must provide an “authentic and decolonised account of the past, one that recognises both historical injustices and the positive impact of ethnic minority communities”.

Other Museum Wales sites must also decolonise, including the National Wool Museum.

Group for Education in Museums, an advisory body, claimed in its official guidance that while such connections might not be initially “obvious” all Welsh museums “will have some evidence of colonial and imperial trade and wealth”.


Vaughan GethingVaughan Gething was appointed First Minister of Wales in MarchPA

The guidance was issued after Welsh Labour announced its 2022 “Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan”.

It was set out that heritage sites should “tell stories through the lens of black, Asian and minority ethnic people’s experiences” and followed separate measures set out in the Curriculum for Wales.

Museum Wales confirmed its committed to meeting the requirements.

It said: “It will help us make well-informed decisions about existing and future commemorations in public spaces, and in doing so, contribute to our goal of an anti-racist Wales.

u200b Andrew RT Davies

Andrew RT Davies


“As Wales’s family of national museums and a publicly-funded organisation, we have a responsibility to address the challenges that confront Wales today.

“We believe that culture in Wales should reflect the lives of all its citizens and be accessible to all.”

However, Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies responded by claiming Labour is adopting an “Orwellian” curriculum.

He said: “Our Welsh heritage doesn’t need to be decolonised to appease the wholly woke Labour Welsh Government.

“The problem lies in Labour ministers promoting an Orwellian new curriculum that is ‘not based solely on facts’, which is as ridiculous as it sounds.

“Don’t forget, Labour in Wales is Keir Starmer’s ‘blueprint’ for government. These proposals stand as a stark warning to the whole UK.”