News In Brief - Week Ending October 22 2006

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 16 October 2006
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending October 22 2006.

glass fronted museum with a red telephone box

20.10.2006 – Museum of London Capital City project to go ahead

The Museum of London’s Capital City development is to go ahead next spring, with £17million of its £18million funding target confirmed.

The Museum has used a novel approach to raise funds beyond the £11.5million awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Businesses across the city have ‘bought’ years in London’s history for £5,000 each to commemorate important years for them. For example, Royal Mail has bought 1840, the year of the Penny Black.

The next phase of the appeal will see the Museum release years of the 20th century, for sale from November 16 – expected to be popular with both businesses and individuals.

The project will tell the tale of London over the last 300 years, its multicultural community, its rich and its poor, and all those who think of it as their city. It will transform the lower floor galleries and see a new Clore Learning Centre including an e-learning suite.

“It is tremendously exciting that HLF has supported our Capital City project so generously,” said Professor Jack Lohman, Museum Director. “The scheme is about Londoners’ stories and displaying more of our collections and will see this museum take a lead in promoting empathy and understanding between Londoners of different generations and cultural backgrounds.”

“Visitors have repeatedly told us they want to contribute to London’s story and this will give them just that opportunity.”

Helmsley castle

20.10.2006 – Meet a ghost hunter with English Heritage in Yorkshire

English Heritage is offering visitors to Clifford’s Tower in York and Helmsley Castle the chance to discover the tolls of the ghost hunting trade over the next two weekends.

Dean Maynard, a paranormal investigator often called on as an expert by radio and TV stations, will be on hand at the two venues to present the equipment he uses and explain what he does. He is a sceptical believer, who takes a very scientific approach to investigations to explain unusual phenomena, using items such as an electromagnetic field monitor and thermometer gun.

“Many of the things people blame on paranormal activity often have a very normal explanation if you look hard enough,” he said, “but I have personally experienced a number of things for which I could not find any probably cause, from screaming in the woods to very localised mists which appeared and disappeared before my eyes in a matter of seconds.”

“It is a real honour to be invited along to talk at some of Yorkshire’s most impressive – and reputedly haunted – sites, and I’m really looking forward to talking to visitors not only about what I do, but also about what they have experienced in their lives too!” he added.

Dean will be at Clifford’s Tower from 11am-3pm on October 21 and 22, and at Helmsley from 11am-3pm on October 28 and 29.

20.10.2006 - Heaven 17 frontman kickstarts instrument restoration fund in Workington

Pop musician Martyn Ware, best known as the frontman in 1980s band Heaven 17, has kickstarted attempts to raise funds for the restoration of a Victorian instrument at a museum in Workington.

Ware, in the town to record a soundtrack for a piece of public art called the Hub, visited the Helena Thompson Museum and was taken with a Victorian symphonium. However, the instrument is in need of about £2,000 worth of repairs so that it can be demonstrated regularly.

The wind-up symphonium takes discs and plays music that listeners can sing along to.

To donate to the fund, call 01900 326255.

a photograph of people on a boat by a harbour

19.10.2006 - Bristol Industrial Museum closes its doors for the last time

October 29 2006 sees Bristol's Industrial Museum closing its doors for the last time, making way for transformation into the new Museum of Bristol in 2009.

The museum will be open every day during its last week to celebrate 28 years of industrial heritage on display at the Floating Harbour. Staff and volunteers are keen to invite the last few visitors along to learn about the working history of Bristol's dockside, see vintage printing presses, peer inside Concorde and climb on board a real Bristol Lodekka bus.

There's also a fun programme of free activities for all ages, culminating on Wednesday December 13 2006 with a talk at the University entitled 'A life less ordinary: Bristol Industrial Museum's working exhibits.'

Many of the museums' treasured machines (the cranes, tugs, fire boat and railway) will remain a big feature of the Museum of Bristol. Andy King, Curator of the Industrial Museum, will talk about what the much-loved exhibits did before they began their preserved state.

At the Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queen's Building, Bristol University, University Walk, from 7.30 to 9.30, admission free. To find out more, telephone 0117 903 1563

19.10.2006 - Lord Smith and Poet Laureate call for literary archives to stay in the UK

The Right Honourable Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury and Poet Laureate Andrew Motion will be addressing an international conference at the British Library, Manuscripts Matter on 19-20 October 2006 to discuss the importance of UK institutions acquiring the archives of living writers.

Increasingly, manuscripts of modern and contemporary UK authors are being sold abroad, despite the best endeavours of UK public institutions and funding bodies. Public institutions find themselves unable to compete with organisations abroad, primarily in the United States , in terms of readily available and accessible funds.

“Despite wishes of authors that their manuscripts are available to UK institutions, the financial allure of selling abroad is often too great as they depend on this income to continue writing," said Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury.

"Living authors are not eligible for current tax incentives. Funders such as the HLF make a significant and valuable contribution, but the process can be lengthy in the face of international competition."

Lord Smith chairs The Working Group on UK Literary Heritage, which aims to ensure that authors know that UK funds may be made available if enough time is given and that they should approach UK libraries and archives to discuss the sale of their works.

19.10.2006 - National Gallery wardens strike over Christmas entitlement

Wardens a the National Gallery went on a 24 hour strike on October 18 after management at the gallery introduced changes to their Christmas holiday entitlement.

Instead of the three days holiday they traditionally recieve in lieu of working Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day it has been proposed to introduce a one off payment of £100 for the Wardens and two days unpaid special leave.

The 24 hour strike came just as the National Gallery's blockbuster Velazquez exhibition, which has sold in advance of 13,000 tickets opened to the public. The workers, who are some of the lowest paid staff in the sector and earn as little as £13,562 per year, will be walking out between 6-9pm every Wednesday from next week onwards.

Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year

20.10.2006 – Protesters condemn Shell sponsoring Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

Environmental campaigners including the Friends of the Earth (FoE)organisation are calling on the Natural History Museum to end its relationship with oil company Shell, which sponsors the museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competion.

Protesters, who are in London to draw attention to their cause in the week that the winners of the competition were announced, have branded the oil giant a “wildlife destroyer” and say that Shell is trying to hide the damage it does to wildlife and the environment behind the prestigious prize.

“Shell’s sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award completely undermines its value,” said Hannah Griffiths, FoE Corporates Campaigner. “Shell is causing massive damage to wildlife and the environment, and no amount of sponsoring of green prizes will change that. The Natural History Museum should not accept sponsorship from such a destructive company.”

a photograph of two men in a field of corn holding a framed painting

18.10.2006 - Manx farmer is recognised for his help in preserving local heritage

Manx National Heritage have presented a local straw-maker with a special painting in recognition of his work to help preserve the island's heritage.

Andrew Moore's family has been farming at Balladore, just outside Castletown, for generations and he still uses a traditional reaper-binder to harvest straw for thatching the Manx National Heritage properties at the national folk museum in Cregneash.

He was presented with a copy of a painting by William Hoggatt, made in the 1940s at the entrance to Andrew's farm.

"Andrew's continuing use of traditional farming methods means that an important aspect of life in the Manx countryside can be preserved and passed on to future generations," said Stephen Harrison, Director of Manx National Heritage.

18.10.2006 - National Museums Liverpool appoints head of new international slavery museum

have announced the appointment of Richard Benjamin to the position of Head of the International Slavery Museum.

Richard will play a key part in the development of the new museum, due to open in 2007, the bicentenary of the abolition of the British Slave Trade.

Formerly the Community Consultation Co-ordinator for National Museums Liverpool, Richard has recently completed a PhD in Archaeology and throughout his career has combined academic research with community work to provide wide-ranging experience ideal for the role.

Having undertaken a visiting research scholarship at the WEB DuBois Institute of African and African American Research, Harvard University in 2002 Richard went on to become a Widening Participation Officer at the University of Liverpool where he worked with black and minority ethnic communities to provide routes to education.

"I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity of heading this world class museum and research centre which looks at both the historical and contemporary aspects of slavery," said Richard.

"I aim to make the museum a valuable resource for the local community, as well as visitors from elsewhere, which not only acts as an instrument of education but as a tool of social change to challenge many of the misconceptions generally held towards the subject of slavery and its legacy."

a photograph of a blue airship over stonehenge as robed druids perform a ritual

18.10.2006 - 7 Wonders World Tour comes to Stonehenge

Stonehenge was the latest of 21 historical sites to get a visit from the new 7 Wonders World Tour airship on October 17.

The competition, which can be voted on by the public via telephone or e-mail, is attempting to find the new 7 wonders of the world out of a pool of 21 finalists.

Organised by Swiss filmmaker Bernard Weber, the campaign is in the UK to highlight Stonehenge’s campaign to be voted into the final seven. As the airship flew over the stone circle around 50 robed druids performed a ceremony to celebrate its candidacy.

To vote for the site you think should go in the new 7 wonders go to:

18.10.2006 – Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners announced

The winners of the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, run by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, have been announced.

The winning and runner-up images include Golden-crowned sifaka by Pete Oxford, Caracara in for the kill by Andy Rouse, Coconut crab going up by Jan Vermeer and Damsel emerging by Ross Hoddinott – all picked from a total of 18,000 entries.

These images will join the overall winning image, Beast of the sediment by Göran Ehlmé and nearly 90 others in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London, from October 21 2006 to April 29 2007. The exhibition then tours the country.

“These are some of the most impressive photos of wildlife you will see,” said Deborah Sage, competition manager. “By capturing the beauty and diversity of the environment in their photos, the wildlife photographers challenge the way we think about our natural world and inspire us to conserve it.”

a photograph of two old buildings with two cows in a meadow

18.10.2006 - Bede's World given lottery funding for community projects

Bede’s World in Jarrow has been awarded £10,000 of lottery money to provide a series of environmental workshops for the local community and visitors.

The money from the Big Lottery Fund’s Breathing Places Programme will go towards a project entitled Anglo-Saxons Go Wild.

Freelance wildlife experts will be employed throughout spring and summer 2007 to engage the local community in conservation days. These will include bug hunts, bird box making and a flora study.

The grant will also provide funding for a CD Rom focussing on scientific enquiry of the environment, which will be free to all local schools. A self-guiding Wildlife Trail and insect exhibition are also planned.

18.10.2006 – Lutyens drawings of British embassy donated to British Architectural Library

Original working drawings of the British Ambassador’s Residence in Washington have been given to the British Architectural Library, to enter the Drawings and Archives Collection at the V&A.

The 64 drawings, all on linen, were produced by Sir Edwin Lutyens’ office between 1927 and 1928. The embassy is the only building by British architect Lutyens in America, and was the first time the British government commissioned such a renowned architect for an embassy.

“We are honoured to receive these internationally important drawings,” said Dr Irena Murray, Director of the British Architectural Library. “ The Drawings and Archives Collection holds a large amount of drawings and letters by Sir Edwin Lutyens, so the drawings can be studied in a much larger context. We are grateful and excited that the drawings will be accessible to everyone.”

18.10.2006 – 30 year anniversary tree planting at Plas Newydd

To mark the 30th anniversary of in Anglesey being in the care of the National Trust, an oak tree will be planted in it grounds at a special ceremony on October 20.

The elegant 18th century family home of the Marquess of Anglesey was given to the Trust by Lord Anglesey in 1976. It is famous for its association with the artist Rex Whistler, who spent much time there. His largest painting, measuring 58 feet long, is at Plas Newydd as well as an exhibition devoted to him.

photos shows a small embroided silk skullcap

17.10.2006 - Burrell Collection acquires a rare nightcap

A beautifully embroidered mid-17th nightcap that once belonged to a leading figure of the English civil war is to go on display at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

The Trustees of the Burrell Collection bought the cap, which was owned by a Major Buntine in July 2006 thanks to a grant from the Art Fund. Buntine was famous for fighting on both sides to great distinction during the war.

The cap made of dark red silk velvet will join two other famous pieces of nightwear in the collection: a pink silk cap reputed to have belonged to Charles II and one made of linen - which Cromwell may have worn.

17.10.2006 - Outstanding country collections given designation status

Nine museum collections throughout the country have been accorded Designation Status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). This means the collections have been recognised as being of outstanding national and international importance.

Through its Designation Scheme the MLA is able to raise the profile of collections and so attract more visitors.

Examples of the collections include the Institute of Technology in London's collection of scientific material. These include some of Faraday's papers on electromagnetism and Geoffrey Chaucer's manuscripts entitled On The Astrolabe.

Other collections to be accorded designation status were the shipbuilding archives held by Tyne and Wear archive service, Liverpool City Council's photographic collection, a range of special collections at Oxford University Library Service and Hampshire County Council's range of religious and civic documents.

photo of a brick power station

16.10.2006 - Tate Spends £150,000 on new artworks at Frieze Art Fair

Tate has been able to purchase 29 works displayed at the Frieze Art Fair 2006 thanks to a £150,000 Special Acquisitions Fund.

The fair, which ran through mid October, showcased the work of many of the most exciting names on today’s contemporary art scene.

Being able to purchase such a large amount of works is deemed important to cement Tate’s reputation as one of the main collectors in the country, as Nicholas Serota, Tate Director, said: “Tate’s budget for acquisitions is extremely limited and collecting contemporary art is essential to building Tate’s collection for the future.”

The fund, organised by Outset Contemporary Art, enabled Tate to buy 14 pieces by the Scottish artist David Shrigley among its new purchases.

16.10.2006 - Arts Council Creative Partnership scheme praised in Ofsted report

Schools inspectors have praised 19 schools in Leicestershire for giving pupils the chance to work with creative people such as artists, designers and performers.

The Ofsted report highlights the good work done by the Art Council England’s Creative Partnerships programme to changing behaviour and attitude in schools by using more creative ways of learning.

Projects in the county included a week-long project to turn the hall of Eyres Monsell Primary School into scenes from the book Grandpa’s Garden. At Ash Fields Special School, Architects of Air experimented with ways to make the pupils' learning environment more stimulating by using giant inflatable structures.

The survey, commissioned by Culture Minister David Lammy, was carried out in June and July 2006 and found that in many cases children’s key skills of literacy and numeracy had improved.

watercolour painting of a grotesque mans head

16.10.2006 - Zoo art fair winners announced

This year’s Zoo Art Fair winner award for a piece of work on paper went to David Locke while the Best Artist Prize went to Jason Fox.

The fair, which supports the emergence of contemporary artists, annually gives £1,000 and an invitation to mount a solo exhibition to the winner of the John Jones Art on Paper Award. The judging panel this year included the artist Sir Peter Blake.

The £10,000 Champage-Jouet Best Artist prize was this year won by Jason Fox who was judged to have made the biggest impression on the art world in 2006. Judges for this prize included artist Marina Abramovic and writer Louisa Buck. Image: Watercolour by David Locke

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