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Trump Baby Blimp undergoes test inflation

Trump blimp test inflation (c) Museum of Londonsml.jpg

Trump blimp test inflation (c) Museum of London

The Trump Baby Blimp, first flown in Parliament Square in July 2018, has been inflated by the Museum of London as they undertake conservation analysis on the object.

Created by protesters who opposed Trump’s visit to the UK, the blimp depicts the former President as a giant baby clutching a mobile phone and was gifted to the Museum of London in January 2021.

Specialist manufacturers checked the balloon to see if it is structurally sound, how long it holds air for, as well as making any necessary small repairs. The inflation test is part of a longer process of conservation analysis of the blimp to plan for its long term preservation and any future display. It is hoped it will go on show at Museum of London’s new home in West Smithfield, due to open in 2026.

A spokesperson from the Museum of London said: “It is always a challenge to preserve objects that are meant to be short-lived like the Trump Blimp. It was made to be flown over Parliament square during the then President Trump’s visit to London in 2019, a quick, flexible and visible icon, as opposed to the permanent statues in parliament square made from the much more durable materials.

We have worked together with scientists at University College London and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia to analyse the composition of the plastic. The blimp is made from PVC material, it is soft and flexible and very thin, much like a giant beach ball. Plastics age and break down in sometimes unexpected ways, so this will help us establish how we can best preserve it in long term as part of our collection.”

The inflation is the final test being carried out as part of the museum’s acquisition process. The balloon will join other pieces in the Museum of London’s protest collection which comprises objects relating to the Suffrage movement 100 years ago, banners, flags, and tents from Brian Haw’s peace camp outside the Houses of Parliament, ‘Putin’s Happy’ - a video capturing post-Brexit Leave and Remain protests by artist Jeremy Deller, as well as placards from protests for more accessible public transport.

A blimp of Sadiq Khan, floated in the capital in 2018 in protest against some of the Mayor’s policies and advocating for free speech, has also been acquired by the museum.

Notes for editors

Images and video footage available here

About The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

A fixture on London’s cultural scene since first opening in 1976, the museum is moving house. It has now closed doors at its London Wall site in preparation for its relocation to a new home at West Smithfield, where it will occupy historic market buildings and open up to millions more visitors. The new museum will reopen in 2026 under a new name: The London Museum.

The Museum of London Docklands remains open Monday - Sunday 10am – 5pm and is FREE to all. You can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added regularly

More information about the relocation of the Museum of London to West Smithfield can be viewed here