Palestinian Women Overcome ROM’s Censorship After 18-hour Sit-In

Toronto, Canada | | October 31, 2023 – Palestinian-American women have successfully brought attention to and resolved the censorship issue at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) after an 18-hour sit-in protest. The Royal Ontario Museum is a museum of art, world culture and natural history in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is one of the largest museums in North America and the largest in Canada.

This demonstration was initiated by the removal of the word “Palestine” and other related content from the Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery exhibition, which aimed to explore diverse death rituals.

The ROM, in response to the persistent advocacy of Palestinian women and their allies, has committed to taking the following actions by Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at 10 AM to ensure that the public can view the uncensored exhibition:

  • Restore the original text panel for the Beit Azza display, in line with the version exhibited at the Field Museum,
  • Restore the original text panels, as originally shown at the Field Museum, 
  • Restore the original Green Burial panel, including Jenin Yaseen’s full painting, as exhibited at the Field Museum.

The Museum has apologized to the four Palestinian-American women harmed by the censorship. In a written statement, the ROM expresses, “ROM apologizes for the disrespect you felt. We acknowledge our failure to understand your perspectives, which caused you pain and frustration at a time of great difficulty.”

Details about the action and the artists can be found on their Instagram page at @r0mystery. 

The Palestinian women have shown that collective action can lead to meaningful change. 

This is not an isolated incident. Arab-Americans and Arab-Canadians are encountering censorship, simply for supporting Palestinian human rights. The ROM’s censorship was complicit in the dehumanization of Palestinians in both life and death, and the apology is one step towards rectifying this.

If you have experienced censorship and would like support please email,

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