Egypt arte­facts to be locked up to save them from damp

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

HIS­TORIC items from Mac­cles­field’s renowned Egyp­tian col­lec­tion will no longer to be put on show be­cause of fail­ing con­di­tions at West Park mu­seum, it was re­vealed this week.

Mu­seum bosses say that frag­ile items in Mar­i­anne Brock­le­hurst’s fa­mous his­toric col­lec­tion are at risk from damp.

The col­lec­tion is on loan at a spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion in Lon­don, but when it re­turns to Mac­cles­field next month some of the items – in­clud­ing a mummy mask made of tex­tile and papyrus – will have to be put straight into stor­age.

Bosses are ap­ply­ing for fund­ing to cre­ate a new ex­hi­bi­tion at the Old Sun­day School to cre­ate a new home for the col­lec­tion.

Sue Hughes, mu­seum di­rec­tor, said the trust has placed a fund­ing bid with the Arts Coun­cil for the ini­tial stages of the pro­ject to move the col­lec­tion.

The trust has al­ready been awarded £10,000 from Mac­cles­field Town Coun­cil, which they hope to se­cure match fund­ing for

Sue said: “We pre­served the items be­fore send­ing them to Lon­don so there are some we don’t want to put back out in the damp con­di­tions.

“It’s not safe for the frag­ile or­ganic items and we will have to mon­i­tor the rest, but more will have to go into stor­age as con­di­tions get worse. This is sad for the peo­ple of Mac­cles­field who should be able to en­joy them.

“I don’t see a fu­ture in West Park Mu­seum as it is. It doesn’t have toi­let fa­cil­i­ties for school groups and we’re not get­ting the vis­i­tors we should be.

“Re­cent work on the col­lec­tion has high­lighted how sig­nif­i­cant it is and we want to cre­ate a new gallery which the com­mu­nity can be proud of and will sup­port the re­gen­er­a­tion of the town.”

How­ever, mu­seum bosses say there is no sug­ges­tion of the mu­seum clos­ing in the near fu­ture.

Mar­i­anne Brock­le­hurst, who was the daugh­ter of silk man­u­fac­turer John Brock­le­hurst, amassed the col­lected the 19th cen­tury and built West Park Mu­seum in 1854 to dis­play them.

The 500-piece col­lec- prob­lem roads.

Claire Tovee had a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence, she said: “I re­ported two pot­holes a few weeks ago and got this same re­sponse – but then they were ac­tu­ally re­paired a cou­ple of days later.”

Peter Wood sug­gested coun­cil of­fi­cers in­spect roads on their bikes, adding: “It’d be health­ier for them (un­less they fell off in the pot­holes), and it’d re­duce the coun­cil’s car­bon foot­print. Oh, and they might ac­tu­ally un­der­stand the prob­lem.”

Dougie Brown said: “Don’t think we’ve got one road in Mac­cles­field that hasn’t got a pot­hole. It’s a joke.”

Vivi­enne Lan­ders said: “I’m a cy­clist too and I agree the roads are un­safe for cy­clists, more cy­cle lanes are needed around town.” tion in­cludes pot­tery, jew­ellery, stat­ues, leather shoes and a mummy case which con­tained the re­mains of a danc­ing girl which Mar­i­anne Brock­le­hurst buried on the banks of the Nile.

The mu­seum also has a lo­cal his­tory dis­play in­clud­ing works by artist Charles Tun­ni­cliffe.

A spokesman for Cheshire East Coun­cil, which owns the mu­seum and col­lec­tions, said: “The coun­cil cher­ishes the col­lec­tion and with part­ners we are re­view­ing ways of en­sur­ing it re­mains ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic.

“The coun­cil is not plan­ning to sell off ei­ther the col­lec­tion or West Park.”

●● Some of the Egyp­tian arte­facts held by West Park Mu­seum, left, West Park Mu­seum is no longer fit for pur­pose

●● David May­ers showed us the is­sue for cy­clists on Cumberland Street, Mac­cles­field

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