Museum: It was all a misunderstanding
A series of misunderstandings led to the confrontation between the two families, said the Trickeye Museum.
The New Paper understands that the camera had been left at an exhibit by the elderly woman's son, who then wandered off.
The family, consisting of the elderly woman, her son, his wife and their two young daughters, then made a missing item report to the museum's staff, saying that it was a theft.
The museum's operations manager, who declined to be named, told TNP: "They were upset because without a camera, they couldn't fully experience the museum, which was about optical illusions. They wanted to call the police."
She said she led the family to the staff office at the back of the museum and told them to stay there while they investigated.
But the elderly woman left the office to try to find the camera on her own, according to an e-mail sent by the museum to James to explain what had happened.
The manager clarified later to TNP: "I had tried several times to bring her back to the office. She kept wanting to look for the camera."
Later on, the manager checked that the family was not around before she approached James and Sarah, who had found the camera.
She introduced herself to the couple at the exit of the museum.
She said: "I asked them if they had seen anything that might have been misplaced by others, and she (Sarah) said no at first.
"They then explained they had wanted to hand in the camera at the end (of their visit). I was very grateful to them, so I thanked them."
James said that they were not sure if the manager was a legitimate staff member as she did not have any identification.
"We reacted like how anyone would have when approached by a stranger," he added.
But he denied that his wife had said no to the manager. Instead, she handed over the camera when asked. After that, Sarah verified with her that she was a museum staff member.
Unknown to the manager, the elderly woman had left the staff office again and stumbled upon her retrieving the camera from Sarah.
That was when the confrontation between the two families started.
During the stand-off, TNP understands that the elderly woman's son thought James had pushed his mother.
But James had only argued with her and did not touch her.
Said the museum spokesman: "We hope that visitors conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner while visiting our museum.
"We are looking into how to better handle such cases in future...to prevent confusion and misunderstanding."
They were upset because without a camera, they couldn't fully experience the museum, which was about optical illusions. They wanted to call the police.
- The museum's operations manager on the family who owned the camera