During a Twitter question and answer session today called "Ask A Curator," a curator at the British Museum found herself in a bit of hot water. When questioned about creation of museum display labels, curator Jane Portal replied that they try not to use too many Asian names, since they can be "confusing" to the 16-year-olds who they're trying to educate.
"Confusing" was probably not the best choice of words.
Portal explained that the curators write the labels which are then edited by an Interpretation Department. She added, "We aim to be understandable by 16 year olds. Sometimes Asian names can be confusing, so we have to be careful about using too many."
Portal continued, saying that there's currently a standard length the labels must adhere to, and since gods have different names in different languages, they don't tend to include them all.
Some people on Twitter bristled at this explanation.
The British Museum tweeted an apology and clarification a few hours later.