Mummy Wrappings

1 June 2010 by Ashley Cooke

Early this morning a team of staff were busy wrapping up showcases and sculptures in the Ancient Egypt gallery at World Museum. The ancient Egyptians had a fondness for wrapping things up and at times it felt like the mummies were looking on with approval. However, I imagine they could have done the job quicker than the 3 hours it took us. Although this was not of a ritual nature and despite having what must amount to several miles of mummy bandages in our collection we used polythene, bubble wrap and foam.

Over the next 5 days building contractors will be installing a new air circulation system in the gallery. For this reason we had to close the gallery and cover everything to protect from dust and potential knocks. Lately the low humidity on the gallery has not been ideal for the 100s of artefacts made from organic materials such as wood and papyrus. In order to preserve these ancient artefacts for future generations we need to lower the gallery temperature and raise the humidity level. Metal artefacts that need low humidity levels are kept within climate controlled cases and should remain unaffected. Protecting objects is a primary concern of a museum but this work will also improve conditions for our visitors.

3 statues wrapped up

Wrapped up statues


The gallery will be open by the start of next week. We apologise for this closure but I’d also like to remind people that there are ancient artefacts on display in other areas of World Museum, such as the Weston Discovery Centre and the Ince Athena statue near the entrance. Also, the mummy of Pedeamun in the Reveal gallery at National Conservation Centre and a selection of antiquites from Greece and Rome at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

Special thanks for their wrapping skills go to staff of the estate management production team and the textiles & organics conservation department.

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