Ipswich: Tatt’s not right! Model Karen’s fury as museum bosses kick up a stink over her ink

IPSWICH: Think mother, carer, housewife and history enthusiast and a certain image comes to mind.

Unfortunately, part-time model Karen Dack does not fit that image – or so she says she was told when she volunteered her services free-of-charge to help promote the town’s museum service.

Mrs Dack, who claims to be the most tattooed woman in Suffolk, holds Christchurch Mansion dear to her heart, and regularly visits with her three younger children.

“My uncle worked there for many years and I have a real affinity to the place,” she said.

She was, therefore, more than happy to oblige when she got an e-mail circular calling on visitors to turn out for a photoshoot for a new leaflet advertising the museum.

“I do a bit of modelling and am registered with an agency in London and I wasn’t booked for that day so I rang them up,” said Mrs Dack, of Bramford Lane.

However, Mrs Dack, who works for an agency called Ugly, did not get the reception she was hoping for.

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“I spoke to a woman at the photographic agency and she was pleased that I had come forward, but when I went on to describe my tattoos she literally recoiled in horror and said ‘I don’t think we want that’.

“She said they didn’t want that kind of image.”

Incensed by what she calls blatant discrimination, Mrs Dack said: “Don’t people with tattoos go into museums?”

However, a spokesman for the museum service today apologised and explained there had been a mistake. The spokesman urged Mrs Dack to go along to the photoshoot as originally planned.

“My tattoos are an artistic thing,” Mrs Dack added. “I don’t look like I have just got out of a wrestling ring – it has costs me a lot of money and there is hundreds if not thousands of hours of work there.”

Mrs Dack was asked to send the agency a photo so they could consider the extent of her body art and was told they would ring her if she was “needed”.

The photoshoot is on Monday and she is yet to hear from the agency.

“People have to pay to take my photo and I was going to do this for free,” she said. “I won’t do it now out of principal.

“Discrimination in any form is wrong.”

A spokesman for the museum service said: “There has obviously been a misunderstanding and we are completely sorry Mrs Dack has been upset.

“In no way would we want to give the impression people are not welcome at the museum.

“Museums are for everyone.”

n Would you give someone with lots of tattoos a job? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk