News In Brief - Week Ending September 24 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 18 September 2006
  • Archived article

Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending September 24 2006. This page is updated every weekday.

a photograph of a man working on a wooden sculpture

22.09.2006 - Renowned Guyanan Sculptor Finally Arrives For Horniman Museum Residency

Guyanan sculptor Oswald Hussein has finally arrived safely at the Horniman Museum for his four-week residency after a series of tragedies and mishaps in his native Guyana threatened to de-rail his first European appearance.

Originally due at the museum in May 2006 the award winning artist was beset by a series of trials that included injuring his hand in a serious motorcycle accident and the death of his mother.

Museum staff say he is now very much alive and well and working in the museum's Gallery Square on a series of new sculptures that will take him through to October 8. A renowned sculptor in Central America and the Caribbean, Hussein's work is featured in the Horniman's current exhibition Amazon to Caribbean.

22.09.2006 - Bury Museum Could Lose Museum Status After Lowry Sale Says MA Chief

The Museums Association (MA) has warned that Bury Metropolitan Borough Council's decision to submit A Riverbank, by LS Lowry, for auction at Christies on November 17 could mean that Bury Museum loses its museum status and with it valubale funding streams.

In a letter written to the editor of the Bury Times on 14 September 2006, the chairman of the MA, Charles Saumarez Smith wrote: "The planned sale shows the council's complete disregard for its obligation to hold Bury's museum collections in trust for society and to safeguard the collections for visitors today and in the future."

"If the sale goes ahead, the museum will be expelled from membership of the Museums Association and will lose its accredited status with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. This will mean it is very unlikely to receive funding in future from bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund."

The decision to sell the painting was taken by the council after it was revealed it had a budget shortfall of £10m. It says it plans to use the money raised on a new library development.

a photograph of a man gesticulating

22.09.2006 - Cornish Shipwreck Gets Wreck Protection From Government

Culture Minister David Lammy (pictured) has announced the re-designation of the wreck site of the St Anthony, located off Gunwalloe Fishing Cove, Cornwall. This will ensure that the whole of the St Anthony wreck site will now be protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

The St Anthony was a Portuguese merchant vessel and sailed as the flagship of a fleet bound from Flanders. She sank in 1527 in a storm described, in contemporary evidence, as a great and urgent tempest of winds and weather.

Discovered in 1981 and designated the following year the wreck of the St Anthony was reported in May 2005 to have wreck material lying beyond the current designated area with archaeological objects associated with the site remaining vulnerable to interference.

The ship went down with a mixed cargo including copper and silver ingots and, it is believed, the dowry of Princess Katherine, bride of King John of Portugal and sister of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. It is now a criminal offence for a person to interfere with the site except under the authority of a licence.

22.09.2006 - English Heritage Funds Conservation Officer In Sedgemoor

English Heritage is supporting Sedgemoor District Council's conservation efforts by part-funding the cost of a new Conservation Officer.

James White joined the District Council last week and will be promoting and enhancing the historic environment and promoting heritage regeneration schemes which are vital to the wider regeneration of towns like Bridgwater and Burnham-on-Sea.

"I am looking forward to discovering the historic towns and villages of Sedgemoor and working alongside English Heritage to ensure the preservation and enhancement of Bridgwater and Burnham," said James.

22.09.2006 - Report Predicts A Wi-Fi Future For UK Libraries

A report launched on Septmember 22 2006 by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and Wi-Fi specialist RegenerateIT predicts that by 2009 half of all UK libraries will offer some form of Wi-Fi (wireless technology).

The report estimates that there are currently about 23 per cent of library services delivering Wi-Fi with 42 per cent of library services planning to offer Wi-Fi in the next financial year.

Benefits of Wi-Fi in libraries are highlighted by the report which points to the more flexible use of space – particularly important given the limited space in many rural areas – and increased availability of library PCs, allowing a greater total number of users to benefit from IT access.

a detail of a painting showing a mountain on the edge of a lake

21.09.2006 - Culture Minister Puts Export Ban On Turner Watercolour

Culture Minister David Lammy has placed a temporary export bar on The Blue Rigi, a watercolour by JMW Turner.

The export ban will be reviewed on November 20 2006 to give time for the funds to be raised to buy the painting and keep it in Britain. A recommended price tag of almost £6m has been placed on it, and if a serious intention to raise the money is signalled then the ban could be extended to March 2007.

The ruling came on the recommendation of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, who judged that that painting was of outstanding aesthetic importance and of outstanding significance for the study of Turner. It is part of a final group of his Swiss studies, generally considered to be among his finest body of watercolours.

21.09.2006 - Duxford To Host The Patrouille De France Aerobatic Team

French aerobatic team The Patrouille de France are making a rare appearance at the Imperial War Museum Duxford as part of the venue’s Autumn Air Show on October 8 2006.

This will be the team’s only UK appearance this year and their first time at Duxford, and they will perform a display of manoeuvres in their eight Alpha Jet aircraft.

“As a world-renowned aerobatic team they will combine precision and speed in an outstanding display of skill sure to thrill the crowd,” said Christian Pratt, Head of Commercial Services at Duxford.

The show will also feature a French Curtiss Hawk 75 and two T-28 Fennecs alongside old favourites like Spitfires, Mustangs and an RAF Chinook display. The rest of the museum will also be open for visitors and there will be a range of trade stands.

photo of a man playing a mandolin

21.09.2006 - Bestselling Author Making Musical Appearance At Dragon Hall

Norwich's medieval Dragon Hall will be hosting a musical night on October 13 2006 with acclaimed writer Louis de Bernieres, best known for his novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which was made into a Hollywood film.

Bernieres is also an accomplished musician and will be performing with Ilone Antonius Jones as The Antonius Players. They will be playing a selection of Bernieres' own poetry and music from the British Isles, from medieval music to Irish tunes, hornpipes and reels to modern works.

photo of a red steam loco in a covered hall

20.09.2006 - National Railway Museum Wins Tourism Award

York's National Railway Museum has won Yorkshire Tourism's Visitor Attraction of the Year award for the fourth time.

Judges praised the museum for its "ongoing policy of investment in the future", and its record in customer care and overall visitor experience were also highlighted.

The museum beat five other finalists in its category to scoop the award and will now go forward to the Enjoy England Awards in spring 2007.

Highlights of the museum include the Flying Scotsman Story exhibition, the Shinkansen bullet train and an open store and engineering workshop.

20.09.2006 - Northamptonshire Orangery Gets £440,000 Restoration Boost

A £440,000 scheme to restore a Grade I-listed 18th century orangery in Barton Seagrove is underway, which will save one of Northamptonshire's most unique buildings.

The orangery was built in the late 18th century to grow exotic fruit but had been on the Buildings at Risk Register for the last nine years in need of vital conservation work.

It will be the largest grant to a secular building in the East Midlands, with the funding coming from English Heritage and Kettering Borough Council in partnership with the Wicksteed Trust.

night time photo of a structure made from packing crates lit from within

20.09.2006 - Castleford Gets 'Cratehouse' Public Sculpture

A new public sculpture is to be unveiled in Castleford, West Yorkshire, on September 29 2006 as part of the town's long-term regeneration plans.

German artists Winter/Horbelt were commissioned by Arts Council England, Yorkshire, to create Cratehouse For Castleford, a light-filled structure made from shipping containers and bottle crates. It will be on display in Sagar Street in the town centre for at least six months.

Photo: A Winter/Horbelt cratehouse in Japan. Yokohoma Belvedere 2006

20.09.2006 – Showbus Comes To Imperial War Museum Duxford

More than 500 buses and thousands of enthusiasts will converge on the Imperial War Museum at Duxford for the Showbus rally on September 24.

The single and double-deckers will represent every decade since the 1920s, with many vintage and classic buses lovingly restored.

The show will feature the ‘gold-run’ of London Routemasters in a procession arriving at 11.30am.

20.09.2006 - Serpentine Gallery Presents Chinese Art At Battersea Power Station

London's Serpentine Gallery will take up residence for five weeks this autumn at Battersea Power Station with a presentation of Chinese culture and art.

China Power Station: Part I is part of an ongoing collaboration with Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo and runs on Thursdays to Sunday from October 8-November 5 2006. It will be a unique opportunity to visit the derelict power station before it is redeveloped and will contain vibrant new works from Chinese artists and architects.

The exhibition will be filled with sound and moving images, using the huge spaces in the power station, covering three floors of the venue.

20.09.2006 – Punk Art Highlight Of Barbican 25th Birthday Celebrations

Art from the heyday of punk will feature in the Barbican’s celebration of the movement’s 30th anniversary in 2007.

Exhibits are likely to include Sex Pistols record covers and clothes worn by members of The Clash. Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years is the highlight of the Barbican’s own birthday celebrations marking its 25 years.

old portrait of a man in a long black coat with a book in his hands

20.09.2006 - 19th Century Captain Revealed At NMM Cornwall

National Maritime Museum Cornwall will be revealing the mysterious tale of James Dunn, famous 19th century Cornish packet-boat captain, at a lecture on October 4 2006.

Recently discovered papers have shed light on the activities of the Jekyll and Hyde-like character. As well as being a dedicated follower of religious reformer John Wesley, a successful entrepreneur, captain and boat builder, Dunn was also rumoured to be a notorious smuggler.

20.09.2006 – Medieval Coins On Display In Kendal

A hoard of medieval coins lost for 360 years has gone on display at Kendal Museum.

The coins are all silver issues from the time of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. They were discovered by a metal detectorist in Hincaster in 2004, and are displayed alongside other finds by detectorists in Cumbria.

20.09.2006 - Harewood House To Host Abolition Of Slavery Conference

Harewood House in Leeds is holding a conference commemorating the abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

This one-day InterCulture event takes place on September 21 2006 and will bring together several international keynote speakers including Baroness Lola Young and academics from the West Indies and UK which a varied agenda from the world of art, heritage, regeneration and race relations.

photo of a golden coloured ceramic globe covered with small holes and lit from within

20.09.2006 - Ceramics In The City 2006 At The Geffrye Museum

The fifth annual Ceramics In The City event is taking place at London's Geffrye Museum from September 22-24 2006.

It will feature a varied range of work from 50 ceramicists, from functional domestic objects like lamps and tableware, to purely decorative pieces. Exhibitors include well-known names in the world of ceramics and new talents selected by a panel of judges.

Visitors can talk to the makers and watch free demonstrations and will also have the opportunity to buy the pieces on display. Photo: Luna Snowball by Luna Lighting

a drawing featuring abstract shapes

19.09.2006 - Charlotte Hodes Wins Jerwood Drawing Prize

Charlotte Hodes has won the Jerwood Drawing Prize for her digitally manipulated drawing using ink jet printing and collaged fragments, Wallace Collection Series I.

Hodes wins the £6,000 first prize from a shortlisted selection of 47 drawings by 43 artists. A second prize of £3,000 went to James McLellan for his pen on paper, Crypto Flux, whilst student prizes worth £1,000 each went to Zoe Anderson and James Wright.

The Jerwood Drawing Prize, the largest annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK, is organised by Wimbledon College of Art under the direction of Professor Anita Taylor. The exhibition featuring all of the shortlisted entries runs at the Jerwood Space, London until October 22 2006, before going on tour at various UK venues until July 2007.

19.09.2006 - New Appointments To The Board Of The Museums, Libraries And Archives Council

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has announced that Michael Walsh, Roy Clare, Yinnon Ezra, Nicholas Dodd and Sara Selwood, have been appointed as Members of the Museums Libraries and Archives Council Board, which funds nine regional agencies to put museums, libraries and archives at the heart of national, regional and local life.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport initiated a peer review of MLA in 2004 and concluded that the MLA and the Regional Agencies need to work together more effectively to a common purpose if their aims were to be realised more fully nationally and regionally. The appointments bring in expertise from the world of museums, business, law, the media and local government.

Sir Geoffrey Holland, Sarah Carthew, Glen Laws, John Hicks, Geoffrey Bond, Alexander Cunningham, John Tarrant, Helen Forde and Robert Wand have been appointed as Regional Chairs and National Members to the Board of the MLA.

The appointments of current serving regional chairs Geoffrey Bond, Sir Geoffrey Holland, Sarah Carthew, John Hicks, Helen Forde and Alexander Cunningham will run for three years from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2009. All the other appointments will run for four years from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2010.

photo of the tate britain gallery

19.09.2006 - Tate Britain Sees Record Visitor Numbers In 2005

Tate's latest two-year report has shown that Tate Britain recorded its highest ever visitor numbers in 2005 - some 1.7 million people visited the London gallery that year, up from 1.3 million in 2004.

It wasn't all good news for the Tate group, as Tate Modern saw visitors decrease from 4.4 million in 2004 to 3.9 million in 2005, although it remains the world's most popular modern art gallery. The venue's Frida Kahlo exhibition, which ran from June to October 2005, was seen by more than 350,000 people, making it the fifth most visited exhibition ever by a Tate gallery.

19.09.2006 - British Library Launches New British Learning Website

The British Library has launched a new website opening up its varied collection to teachers and pupils.

The British Library learning website provides diverse mix of texts from literary to historical and is designed for users to access key documents easily.

Sections are themed into handy groupings including History, Language, Art, Culture, Research and Teachers. Readers can examine a quarto of a Shakespeare play, a Caxton printing of The Canterbury Tales, an illuminated manuscript or a recipe for a plague cure.

The resources are designed to enhance school lessons, each section providing background information, suggestions for classroom activities and high quality images for printouts or for use on whiteboards.

photo of a castle on a wooded hill

19.09.2006 - Secrets Of Stirling Castle To Be Revealed With Special Tours

Doreen Grove, Historic Scotland's Head of Cultural Resources, is to lead guided tours revealing the major project work being undertaken at Stirling Castle on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24, September. She will explore the history of the Palace, the current work and the exciting plans for its future.

"The Palace project is one of the most exciting ever undertaken by Historic Scotland and will make it an even more fascinating place to visit," said Doreen. "Right now the Palace is undergoing conservation work, and this will be a rare opportunity to see how the work is progressing."

Tours take place at 11am and 2pm each day and are free as part of Scottish Archaeology Month. Booking is essential as spaces are limited and places can be reserved by calling 0131 6688838.

19.09.2006 - Heritage Lottery Fund Money For York Minster's East Window Repair

The largest piece of medieval art in the world has been given a lifeline of £390,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The York Glazier's Trust will use the grant to begin the process of saving York Minster's buckling Great East Window.

York Minster is the largest Medieval Gothic cathedral north of the Alps and a treasure house of 800 years of stained glass. The East End of the cathedral is dominated by the Great East Window, created from 1405-1408 by John Thornton of Coventry, the foremost master glazier of the time.

The famous stained glass is considered to be 'the principal jewel in the Minster's stained glass crown' but is in real danger of being lost. Now, thanks to the HLF grant, it will be taken down and prepared for safe storage until the fragile stonework of the Minster's walls is repaired.

a photograph of a carved relief of a female figure

19.09.2006 - Lord Leighton's Madonna Returns To Leighton House

101 years after it left Leighton House, Rosselino's 'Madonna of the Candelabra' has finally returned to its former home thanks to a £48,000 grant from The Art Fund, and a £28,800 grant from the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund.

The Relief, which was acquired at auction for £96,000 at Sotheby's, dates to the fifteenth century and was created by Rosselino (born Antonio Gamberelli), a leading figure of the Italian Renaissance, student of Donatello and subject of Michelangelo’s praise.

The Madonna was important enough to Lord Frederick Leighton to be displayed in the Silk Room at Leighton House alongside a major painting by Tintoretto. It was sold at auction following Leighton’s death in 1896.

Frederic, Lord Leighton, has a worldwide reputation as perhaps the foremost English painter of the late Victorian era. What is less well known is that he was an art collector of equal standing and of a range that encompassed the Italian Renaissance to medieval ceramics. The collection was however broken up for sale at auction upon Leighton’s death in 1896 to pay for legacies, endowments and other expenses.

photo of a bronze figurine of a knight on horseback

18.09.2006 - Bassetlaw Museum Buys Rare Medieval Figurine After It Is Saved From Export

Bassetlaw Museum in Retford, Nottinghamshire, has acquired an extremely rare medieval bronze model of a knight on horseback after an export ban was placed on it by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The Carlton-in-Lindrick knight was bought for £34,000, including a £10,000 grant from the Art Fund. Measuring only 5cm high and 4cm long, it was discovered my a metal detectorist in 2004 and sold to a dealer who initially arranged to sell it to an American collector.

Dating from the 12th century, representations of a fully armoured knight on horseback like this are very uncommon. It is believed to have been made as a decoration for a larger object like a candlestick, chalice cover or incense burner but could also possibly be a toy or chess piece.

The knight will go on display for the first time on September 23 2006 as part of the museum's Medieval Festival.

18.09.2006 - Model Boats To Recreate 20th Century Navy At Portsmouth

The early days of the Dreadnought class battleships and Ton class minesweepers will be recreated by model boats at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

These scale models of the 20th century craft will be appearing at the venue's historic Mast Pond over the weekend of September 23-24 2006. The Mast Pond itself dates back to 1665.

Visitors will also be able to step aboard Steam Pinnace 199, the last surviving naval steam pinnace, built in 1911 and fully restored to working order.

a photograph of a man riding a model steam traction engine

18.09.2006 - Get Steamed Up About Models At Amberley Working Museum

On Saturday & Sunday September 23 and 24, Amberley Working Museum will be holding its Miniature Steam & Model Weekend. Over 70 model steam traction engines will be on show, along with model steam trains, boats and more.

An established event in the steam enthusiast's calendar, the weekend attracts a loyal following, both by exhibitors and visitors, and boasts an ambience all of its own.

“This event is enjoyed by everyone”, said Derek Kilburn, Event Organiser, “children love to see the engines in action, those with practical skills love to see the intricate work of the exhibitors and those who remember steam first time around feel a considerable amount of nostalgia!”

The event includes standard entry and allows visitors to see the other exhibits on site, including a working vintage bus service and narrow-gauge railway, roadmaking exhibition, Print Workshop, EDF ENERGY electricity hall and the CONNECTED EARTH exhibition building.

18.09.2006 - Battle Of Cable Street Event Marks Famous Victory Over Mosley's Blackshirts

October 2006 sees the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when the people of the East End of London stopped Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists from marching through Cable Street in Stepney.

The Cable Street Group and Alternative Arts are planning a commemorative event that will take place on Sunday October 8 2006 at Cable Street and in the open space by the Cable Street commemorative mural on the west wall of St George's Hall.

Events for the day include a samba band, street theatre, songs, music and a photography exhibition called Protest and Survive. For more information contact the Cable Street Group on 020 7247 4283 or email:

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