Curator’s Diary, Monday July 4th 2011

Over the last couple of months I have been almost entirely focussed on putting together object lists for the Ancient Worlds galleries, due to open in October 2012. The lists, of over 2000 objects for the

Cleopatra's Needle

Cleopatra's Needle, Victoria Embankment

Egypt gallery alone, were sent to the designers, Opera, in Amsterdam, on Friday afternoon. Now we will move on to the next stage, developing layouts, seeing which objects won’t make the final cut due to space or conservation issues, and beginning to think in more detail about interpretive media: text, images, maps, audio, videos and so on. I have also been speaking to photographers and digital media specialists about developing digital resources such as 3D modelling of objects for use on the gallery and on the mobile website we are developing in association with the Ancient Worlds galleries.

I spent last Tuesday in London, at Egypt Exploration Society meetings, including a press event at the Middle East Society in Mayfair where we talked about the current and future work of the Society in the ‘New Egypt’ to an audience of journalists, Egyptian business representatives, travel companies and academics, to spread the word of the Society’s work (see It was a hugely succesful event with a high level of attendance and lots of positive feedback.

While I was in london I took the opportunity to prepare some of the sessions for my forthcoming Bloomsbury Summer School, Perceptions of Egypt: Mummymania to Museums (18th-22nd July). The course will include a walk around central London looking at Egyptian and Egyptianising achitecture, including the columns on the facade of the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, and Cleopatra’s Needle on the Victoria Embankment.

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