Expat ordered to take down ‘Little Britain’ museum at his home in Germany

Gary Blackburn looks out of a demilitarised Centurion tank at his “Little Britain” museum in Germany (Picture: Reuters)

A British man who has a museum filled with a tank and phone boxes has been ordered to take it down by the German authorities.

Expat Gary Blackburn, 54, a tree surgeon from Nottinghamshire, built a “Little Britain” museum filled with a range of memorabilia at his home in Linz, near Bonn, Germany.

He intended that his free museum would bring the two nations closer together, but he has received a number of complaints from local residents.

The museum at his home contains two double-decker buses, a 52-tonne Centurion take and red phone boxes.

It also features a wooden statue of the Mad Hatter and a number of Beefeaters, as well as a life-sized model of the Queen.

Mr Blackburn’s museum has been closed down (Picture: Reuters)
The museum features a Mini car decorated with a picture of Mr Bean (Picture: Reuters)

However, the local authority found he had not applied for the necessary permits to have the museum at his home.

He has now been ordered to close the museum after complaints from his neighbours forced an investigation.

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Mr Blackburn started building the museum after the UK voted in June 2016 to leave the EU.

But neighbours said it was an eyesore, and a petition was circulated which led to a local council debate.

The Times reported that councillors said: “It’s not the district administration’s job to decide whether Little Britain is a jewel or an eyesore, repulsive or enchanting, tasteless or worthwhile.

The museum includes a model of the Queen’s Coldstream Guard (Picture: Reuters)
Mr Blackburn poses with a Centurion toy tank that he received from his father at the age of five (Picture: Reuters)

“Our duty is to ensure that the law is obeyed. The whole conflict is grotesque and could have proceeded much more objectively if certain basic rules were adhered to.”

Mr Blackburn said last year: “When Britain voted for Brexit I decided to make my own little Britain here in Germany.

“For me the tank is a sign of peace. I have decorated it with a lot of poppies and white doves.

“The poppies stand for freedom and peace in England and commemorate fallen and injured soldiers during the past two world wars.”

He wrote on his blog that the museum has been closed temporarily but that he hopes to reopen it.