News In Brief - Week Ending March 11 2007

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 05 March 2007
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Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending March 11 2007.

a photograph of a thatched cottage with scaffolding at one end of it

09.03.2007 - Work to begin on historic folk life buildings at Manx National Heritage

Work is about to start on the conservation and repair of one of Manx National Heritage’s (MNH) most historic buildings at the very heart of the National Folk Museum in Cregneash.

Karran’s farmstead exemplifies the traditional building and folk life traditions of the Isle of Man, which have virtually disappeared elsewhere on the Island.

Substantial work is required to carefully restore and, where necessary, strengthen some of the old roof timbers. The thatch will be stripped and then re-laid by MNH’s own experienced team.

09.03.2007 - Roman coin hoard acquired by Northgate Museum, Bridgnorth

A hoard of 69 Roman coins found by a Shropshire metal detectorist in 2005 has been acquired by in Bridgnorth.

The Museum raised the £2,000 needed to acquire and display the hoard of Roman denarii, which were found nearby at Albrighton, with the help of funds from the Headley Trust and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund. It is hoped the coins will be on public display by March 31 2007.

09.03.2007 - New Transport Museum to open in North Ayrshire this Easter

The biggest collection of buses on show in the West of Scotland is set to be revealed when the new Beith Transport Museum opens its doors for Easter 2007.

Housed at the Willowyard Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Beith in Ayrshire, the new museum has been set up by a group of transport enthusiasts and includes an array of single and double decker buses from as far afield as Portugal and Singapore.

Visitors to the new musem will be encouraged to board and explore many of the displays and there are plans to carry out short runs between Glengarnock and Beith.

a photograph of a spitfire plane parked in front of a large tower building

08.03.2007 - Imperial War Museum North shortlisted for tourism 'Oscars'

Imperial War Museum North has been shortlisted as one of just three attractions in the country to win 'Large Visitor Attraction of the Year' at the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2007.

Organised by VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, the annual tourism 'Oscars' recognise the best of England's tourism and the winners will be announced at a national awards ceremony on April 18 in London.

Imperial War Museum North, along with other finalists has already beat off stiff competition to win the award for the local regions (Manchester Tourism Awards in February 2006 and North West Tourism Awards in October 2006), and has been rigorously assessed to make it through to the national shortlist, demonstrating excellence against strict criteria such as service and customer care.

08.03.2007 - National Gallery of Scotland acquires painting by 'Elgin Marbles artist'

The National Gallery of Scotland has purchased the only known oil painting by Giovanni Battista Lusieri – the Italian landscape painter who was closely involved with the removal of the ‘Elgin Marbles’ from the Parthenon in Athens in the early 1800s.

The Monument to Philopappos, Athens (c 1805-7) is an outstanding painting of the semi-ruined Roman funerary monument on Mouseion Hill in Athens. The painting was purchased for £300,000, with a £100,000 grant from The Art Fund.

Lusieri became the Earl of Elgin’s official artist in the late 1790s, during Elgin’s embassy in Constantinople (now Istanbul). When the Earl of Elgin was granted permission to remove objects from the Acropolis in the early 1800s, Lusieri was appointed his chief excavator and was responsible for collecting many sculptures and inscriptions from the Acropolis, as well as slabs of the Parthenon frieze which are today housed in the British Museum.

screenshot of the caribbean histories website

07.03.2007 - New National Archives website explores 300 years of Caribbean history

A new website launched by the National Archives, called Caribbean Histories, is tracing the history of the British Caribbean through Colonial Office records from the 17th century to 1926.

It uses a range of documents including maps, photographs, letters and petitions and gives a historical overview of the region through a series of topics such as the transatlantic slave trade, struggles against slavery and colonialism, everyday life, political conflicts and the role of West Indian soldiers in the First World War.

The website's launch marks the culmination of Your Caribbean Heritage, a three-year cataloguing project which has created 125,000 new online record descriptions relating to the Caribbean.

07.03.2007 - Arts Council supports pensions seminars for artists

Arts Council England is supporting a series of seminars across England to help artists understand and plan for their future pension provision.

A series of seminars will be run by EUCLID, a cultural information agency, in Yorkshire during April 2007 that will examine the likely retirement needs of artists and creative practitioners along with their various pension provision options.

The pensions seminars will be held in Hull on April 17, in Sheffield on April 18 and in Dewsbury on April 19. For information about venues and times and to book a place, visit

The EUCLID seminars are supported as part of the Arts Council's Artists' Insights programme, which aims to unlock the potential of artists through a range of initiatives.

07.03.2007 - London cabbies inspire musical art project in the capital

A music and art collaboration between artist Beatrice Gibson and musician Jamie McCarthy is to be showcased at London gallery Studio Voltaire on Friday March 9 at 7.30pm.

The Great Learning is a free live performance piece and radio work in seven parts based on the tradition of calling over in The Knowledge (the infamous London cabbie navigation system and mnemonic device).

Developed over a period of time by several knowledge 'students' or would-be cabbies and a string quartet of musicians, the piece is based on a previous work by 1960s avant garde composer Cornelius Cardew who often developed scores for untrained performers. For more information visit
photo of a set of foundations next to a busy main road

06.03.2007 - Archaeological dig reveals boozy Royal connection

Archaeological excavations at Kew Bridge House in London have revealed that the site has a boozy royal past.

The work is being undertaken by Wessex Archaeology prior to a new building development at the site and has revealed the remains of several 17th century buildings as well as finds from the middle ages.

In the 18th and 19th century a malthouse occupied the site and the dig has revealed several bottles and bottle tops with the crest of the Royal Brewery. The brewery was originally called the Red Lion Brewery but King William IV asked for the name to be changed after a visit in 1828.

The malthouse was demolished in the early 20th century and a modern office built on the site.

Find out more on the Wessex Archaeology website.

06.03.2007 - Shetland Museum and Archives praised by Scottish Executive for its design and architecture

Shetland Museum and Archives has been named by the Scottish Executive as an example of top quality Scottish design and architecture.

The museum was praised for using recycled and salvaged material to contribute to a sustainable design.

A National Architecture Policy Document stated: "The Shetland Museum and Archives is an excellent example of a collaborative project where the design and fabric of the building seamlessly interweaves concerns for history, sustainable development and public art."

The museum is due to reopen in spring 2007 after its multi-million pound redevelopment.

photo of a porcelain boars head

05.03.2007 - Ashmolean Museum Purchases Rare 'Boar's Head Tureen'

Oxford's Ashmolean Museum has purchased an unusual ceramic boar's head for £237,565.

The Boar's Head Tureen was made around 1754-1757 and is one of the most ambitious objects ever made by the celebrated Chelsea Porcelain Factory.

Jonathan Marsden, Trustee of the Art Fund, who provided an £80,000 grant towards the purchase, said: "The Boar's Head Tureen is the work of a genius, Nicholas Sprimont, who used porcelain in a way that no one in England had before him."

"Contradicting any preconceptions of 18th century porcelain as impossibly genteel, it is a truly challenging, wonderfully confident display of Sprimont's talent."

Only three complete examples of the tureen exist and the Ashmolean's new acquisition is the only one in a UK collection.

painting of a large tunnel with a victorian banquet being held inside it

05.03.2007 - Brunel Museum opens Thames tunnel to visitors

The Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe, London, is to open Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Thames Tunnel as part of Science and Engineering Week.

Visitors will be able to travel on a special tube train through the tunnel, which was built between 1825 and 1843, and view its columns, pilasters and porticos.

It was the world's first underwater tunnel and originally served as a popular shopping arcade and banquet hall and was first used for trains in 1869. It is London Underground's oldest tube tunnel.

The trips are running from Rotherhithe Tube station on March 10, 11, 17 and 18 2007. Image: Banquet at the tunnel's opening © Brunel Musuem

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