Egyptian gallery set for museum

A NEW Egyptian Gallery is being created at Ipswich Museum to display artefacts including a mummy mask, amulets and scarabs.

John Howard

A NEW Egyptian Gallery is being created at Ipswich Museum to display artefacts including a mummy mask, amulets and scarabs.

The Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service announced today that it has secured a £50,000 grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Wolfson Foundation, which will provide vital funds towards the area.

From the Mummy's Tomb gallery will involve the redevelopment of part of the building to house eight new display cases and some of the extremely important objects in the site's collection.

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It will feature objects including the gilded mummy Mask of Titos Flavius Demetrios and will see the service's most significant Egyptian item, The Coffin of Lady Tahathor from Thebes, currently on display in Colchester Castle, moved to the town.

Judy Terry, Ipswich Borough Council's arts, culture and leisure portfolio holder, said: “The securing of these funds is fantastic.

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“The current Egyptian Gallery is one of the most popular parts of the museum with our visitors and its development is sure to be a very exciting project.

“We are delighted that we will be able to display even more of our Egyptian objects and that many more visitors will be able to come and see them.”

Thirty one museums across England have benefited from the grants totalling £4 million which will help improve the quality of museum displays and enhance the experience for visitors.

Culture Minister Margaret Hodge said: “This year, as before, the DCMS Wolfson Fund is providing support for museums and galleries from all regions of England, backing projects in national institutions, university collections and well-loved local museums and galleries.

“I hope today's awards will help people all over Britain, particularly those with a disability, have improved access to the wonders of the old, new, beautiful and intriguing objects that are housed in England.”

The allocated area for From the Mummy's Tomb is currently accessible via two staircases and as part of the redevelopment these will be replaced by two sloping ramps for wheelchair users. There will also be a variety of interactive activities and a working area for school groups.

The Egyptian Gallery, within the museum which is free to visit, is scheduled for completion in early 2010.

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