The restoration has taken place over the past 18 months with the gallery expanding in to space that has been unused for 35 years, trebling its size to 1,000 sq m creating the largest ever display area for the museum’s ancient Egypt collection.
World Museum’s ancient Egypt collection has been amassed over more than 150 years and the new Ancient Egypt: A journey through time gallery will take visitors on a journey spanning 5,000 years of history from the time of the first settlers in the Nile Valley through to the impact of the Roman Empire.
The collections are presented in seven themes: 5,000 Years; Collection Highlights; River Nile; People of Egypt; African Kingdoms; Afterlife; and the Mummy Room. Visitors will find out about Liverpool’s long connection to excavations in Egypt and Sudan, and how thousands of artefacts made their way into the Museum.
More than 1,000 key objects are displayed including many items that have never been on public display before such as a recently identified statue part of Nefertiti and two mummy masks, including one with a magnificent representation of the vulture goddess Nekhbet, her wings outstretched and patterned.
The extended gallery will also see the reopening of World Museum’s Mummy Room for the first time in 150 years. With a total of ten mummies on display, this is the UK’s largest display of mummies outside of the British Museum, and double the number of mummies on display at the Museum previously.
“Our mummy collection is world-renowned and has always proved to be incredibly popular with visitors of all ages,” said Steve Judd, Director of World Museum. “Until now, space restrictions have limited us from showing the full scope of our collections. By expanding the gallery, we look forward to wowing visitors with never-before seen objects displayed in new and exciting ways.”
Liverpool has been a leading centre for the study of ancient Egypt for over a century. Students from Egypt and around the world come to study Egyptology, and Egyptologists from the University of Liverpool continue to make new discoveries.
The Ancient Egypt gallery has been funded through the generous support of DCMS/ Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Headley Trust and the Molly Tomlinson Bequests. The exhibition has been made possible as a result of the Government Indemnity Scheme, arranged by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England.
The new Ancient Egypt: A journey through time gallery at World Museum. All photographs by Gareth Jones