The collection of clothes, posters and other music-related items was reportedly worth millions.
The son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren set fire to his extensive collection of punk memorabilia, as part of a protest in central London yesterday.
The collection – reported to be worth five million pounds ($6.25 million) – along with effigies of prominent British political figures, was torched by Joe Corré as a statement against Punk London’s plans to mark 40 years of the sub-culture.
Designer Dame Vivienne Westwood was among those gathered on the river bank to watch as the items on a boat went up in flames.
Corré, the man behind designer lingerie label Agent Provocateur, spoke to the crowd before setting fire to the impressive collection. He said: “Punk was never, never meant to be nostalgic – and you can’t learn how to be one at a Museum of London workshop.
“Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need. The illusion of an alternative choice. Conformity in another uniform.”
— Joe Corré (@realjoecorre) November 26, 2016
Corré’s been outspoken about his feelings towards the planned punk celebration, and said in a statement: “The Queen giving 2016, the year of punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard. Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainstream. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a f****** museum piece or a tribute act.”
While there’s been support for his actions, there also been some debate on whether Corré should have sold the collection and donated the money to charity.
Joe Corre, torching £5m worth of memorabilia on a boat down a river isn't punk. It's the actions of a spoilt rich kid with no moral compass
— muttly (@jmorris1972) November 26, 2016
@realjoecorre torched £10 million worth of memorabilia – WHY!!! dad here who can not even afford to goto the dentist (mouth in so much pain)
— Calgarydad (@calgary2015) November 26, 2016
Wish I had a five million collection I could burn. If punk is dead it's clueless privileged tossers like you who have killed it #joecorre
— crywank (@jamescrywank) November 26, 2016
In an earlier interview with NME, the businessman said “Whatever I did with the thing isn’t going to change anything. Why don’t they take all the money they’re spending on this f****** year of punk and give it to the homeless? Why doesn’t the Queen or the British tourist board give the money to the homeless? It’s time we question what we think of value.”
Corré claims proceeds from the documentary about his punk fire will go to charity.