Town’s Egyp­tian col­lec­tion on move

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

THE town’s fas­ci­nat­ing Egyp­tian col­lec­tion is be­ing whisked off to Lon­don as part of a pres­ti­gious ex­hi­bi­tion.

It’s the first time the arte­facts, do­nated to the town by Mar­i­anne Brock­le­hurst, daugh­ter of silk man­u­fac­turer John Brock­le­hurst, have been moved since they were put on dis­play at West Park more than 150 years ago.

They are be­ing loaned to Two Tem­ple Place in Lon­don for three months to be part of ‘Be­yond Beauty: Trans­form­ing the Body in An­cient Egypt’, which will tell the story of the pur­suit of the body beau­ti­ful by the an­cient Egyp­tians.

It will fea­ture ev­ery­thing from fu­neral arte­facts to the per­sonal be­long­ings that fre­quently ac­com­pa­nied peo­ple to the grave.

Sue Hughes, mu­seum di­rec­tor, said: “This is a re­ally ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for Mac­cles­field Mu­se­ums. Two Tem­ple Place in Lon­don spe­cialise in high­light­ing im­por­tant re­gional col­lec­tions like ours to raise their pro­file and gain more sup­port for the or­gan­i­sa­tions that care for them.

“We al­ways knew our col­lec­tions were spe­cial, but are thrilled this has been recog­nised na­tion­ally and that more peo­ple will have the op­por­tu­nity to see this ex­hi­bi­tion of Egyp­tian ob­jects col­lected by Mac­cles­field’s own Vic­to­rian phi­lan­thropist and ex­plorer Mar­i­anne Brock­le­hurst.”

Mar­ri­anne Brock­le­hurst amassed the im­pres­sive col­lec­tion dur­ing her trav­els to Egypt and in 1854, and built a mu­seum at West Park, funded by her brother, to house the col­lec­tion for all to see.

Among the items bound for Lon­don are a Mummy Case, which once con­tained the re­mains of a 12-year-old danc­ing girl which Mar­i­anne and her party buried on the banks of the Nile be­fore re­turn­ing home; a se­lec­tion of in­ti­mate items that peo­ple were buried with – a make-up pal­ette, jew­ellery, combs, shoes; and Mar­i­anne’s di­ary, in which she recorded her trav­els and painted beau­ti­ful wa­ter­colours of things she saw along the way.

Mary Rose Gunn, chief ex­ec­u­tive of The Bull­dog Trust, which or­gan­ised the ex­hi­bi­tion, said: “It is an ex­cep­tional op­por­tu­nity for us to be able to cham­pion the stun­ning Egyp­tol­ogy col­lec­tions that are held in mu­se­ums around the UK.

“We are also look­ing for­ward to strength­en­ing cul­tural ties be­tween Egypt and the UK.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion will be on dis­play from Jan­uary 28 un­til April 24.

●» A mummy case from West Park Mu­seum

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