Jake Lever 

British Museum - acquisition of a ‘Do the Little Things’ boat for their collection

Back in May 2021, I was invited to create an installation for Coventry Cathedral’s  Chapel of Gethsemane of Do the Little Things boats, this coincided with a spotlight loan from The British Museum called  Crossings: community and refuge. The cross is made from the remnants of a boat which carried refugees that was wrecked near the Italian island of Lampedusa, close to the coast of Tunisia in 2013. It symbolises the plight of refugees across the world.  This particular cross was one of many made by the island’s carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, prompted by the tragic death of 311 migrants when the boat sank. Jill Cook, Keeper, Department of Britain, Europe & Prehistory at the British Museum received the small cross in the post from Tuccio, and it became the final acquisition by the museum before Neil McGregor retired as Director in 2015.  Jill wrote in a blog in 2021 that the crosses “serve as a reminder of all the histories that are lost and of the thousands of people who are not otherwise commemorated, as well as a major moment in world history.” 

 Jill Cook was in the cathedral to oversee the installation of the Lampesuda Cross when she decided to acquire one of the ‘Do the Little Things’ boats for the permanent collection of the British Museum.  The museum have collected objects that reveal how we navigated the Covid-19 pandemic.  She felt that the ‘Do the Little Things’ project, involving the posting of tiny vessels to destinations around the globe, told an important story of the human connection in extraordinary times.  You can see the boat in their online collection here.

Using Format