'Trump Baby' blimp to go on display at Museum of London's collection of protests

Enormous balloon soared above protests during the US president's visits to the UK

epaselect epa07624037 Anti Trump protesters with a Trump baby blimp flying over Parliament Square gather for a protest against US President Donald J. Trump State visit to the UK in London, Britain, 04 June 2019. US President Trump and First Lady Trump are on a three-day official visit to Britain.  EPA/ANDY RAIN
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The Trump baby blimp, a six-metre-tall helium-inflated balloon of President Donald Trump in diapers, once soared over protests in central London.

Now, it has found its way into the city's history books, as part of the Museum of London's collection of protests.

The blimp first appeared in July 2018 when Trump visited the UK, where he was met by Britons protesting his policies including the so called Muslim travel ban – restrictions on immigration to the US from some Muslim-majority countries introduced in the first month of his presidency.

News of the blimp, which showed a sneering Trump clutching a mobile phone, was announced in the months before the protests, as its organisers used the eye-catching symbol to fundraise for groups affected by Trump's executive orders. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London who has been vocal in his criticism of the president, swiftly approved the blimp to fly.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03: Members of the activist group Code Pink hold Baby Trump balloons during a news conference at the Lincoln Memorial to protest against President Trump and the tanks that were brought in for the Salute to America ceremony on the Fourth of July, on July 3, 2019 in Washington, DC.   Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP
Members of the activist group Code Pink hold Baby Trump balloons during a conference at the Lincoln Memorial to protest against President Trump in July 2019 in Washington, DC. AFP

Up it went on July 13,  and it quickly became a hallmark of the protests – and a meme. Two activists in New Jersey prepared a coast-to-coast tour of the blimp across the US, and promptly registered a Twitter account: @babytrumptour.

But the genie was out of the bottle and soon blimpy Trumps were flying all over the US, and internationally during protests at other Trump visits, while smaller helium balloons became a staple at Biden rallies.

The UK originators of the Trump blimp will have the last laugh over their copyists, however, as the blimp joins the collection of the Museum of London.

“From the suffragettes of the early 20th century to the anti-austerity marches, free speech and Black Lives Matter most recently – the capital has always been the place to have your say," said museum director Sharon Ament.

"By collecting the baby blimp we can mark the wave of feeling that washed over the city that day and capture a particular moment of resistance – a feeling still relevant today as we live through these exceptionally challenging times – that ultimately shows Londoners banding together in the face of extreme adversity.”

The museum is closed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

When it reopens, the twice-impeached Trump will be out of the White House, with president-elect Joe Biden inaugurated on January 20.