HEAD START FOR WORLD HIS­TORY

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

BELINDA Cr­erar stud­ied a PhD in Ro­mano-Bri­tish ar­chae­ol­ogy with the sole pur­pose of be­com­ing the cu­ra­tor of the Ro­manic Bri­tish col­lec­tion at the Bri­tish Mu­seum.

Her am­bi­tion was tem­po­rar­ily re­alised four years ago when the per­ma­nent cu­ra­tor took a year­long sab­bat­i­cal, but this only showed she had been fo­cus­ing on the wrong path.

“I re­ally did en­joy it but dis­cov­ered I wanted to do more ex­hi­bi­tions and fo­cus on the pub­lic en­gage­ment side of mu­seum work rather than the aca­demic side,” she said.

Her cur­rent role as cu­ra­tor in the in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tions depart­ment brought her to Perth for the open­ing of Bri­tish Mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tion A His­tory of the World in 100 Ob­jects at WA Mu­seum, a con­tin­u­a­tion of a five-year part­ner­ship be­tween the mu­se­ums.

“The whole A His­tory of the World in 100 Ob­jects pro­ject started in 2007 when the BBC and Bri­tish Mu­seum started work­ing on a col­lab­o­ra­tive broad­cast,” Dr Cr­erar said.

“That was re­ally suc­cess­ful so what we did in the Bri­tish Mu­seum in Lon­don was a kind of trail where all of the ob­jects were left in their re­spec­tive gal­leries but we cre­ated a map for vis­i­tors to find the ones fea­tured in the show.

“Af­ter that we thought it would be great to bring them all to­gether and tour it in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“We’ve ar­ranged it in chrono­log­i­cal or­der be­cause the real point is to try and bring aware­ness to how we got to where we are to­day.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes The Queen’s lyre, Statue of Ramesses II and Head of Au­gus­tus.

The bronze stat­u­ary head of first Ro­man em­peror Cae­sar Au­gus­tus was dis­cov­ered per­fectly pre­served in 1910 un­der­neath the steps of the Tem­ple of Vic­tory in the an­cient Kush cap­i­tal of Meroe, in mod­ern day Su­dan.

Dr Cr­erar said her favourite item in the ex­hi­bi­tion was a sim­ple Vic­to­rian tea set, quite fa­mil­iar and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a re­fined, af­ter­noon tea.

“But when you think about the global sto­ries feed­ing into the cre­ation of that tea set... we’re talk­ing about Bri­tish hos­til­i­ties with China through to coloni­sa­tion in In­dia and the transat­lantic slave trade on plan­ta­tions,” Dr Cr­erar said.”

Tanya MacNaughton

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d449972

Dr Moya Smith, head of an­thro­pol­ogy and ar­chae­ol­ogy at the WA Mu­seum, with Dr Belinda Cr­erar and the head of Au­gus­tus.

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