The Fitzwilliam Museum’s Pop-Up Egyptian coffins project has been featured in the 2019 summer edition of the Wetherspoon News! The Wetherspoon News is the official magazine of the UK and Ireland pub chain J D Wetherspoon (affectionately known as Spoons), which was founded in 1979 and today comprises almost 900 pubs. The article appears on page 55 and reads:
‘ARTEFACTS AND ALE AT POP-UP MUSEUM’
Your local pub might not be the obvious place to enjoy ancient artefacts with your ale, but The Wheatsheaf Inn was an Egyptologist’s exception.
The pub in Wisbech was the venue for a pop-up museum, an outreach initiative project in conjunction with the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
Pub Manager Martin Baldwin pictured (standing centre) said: “After speaking to the museum and getting the OK from Wetherspoon, this unusual collaboration was a great idea and brilliant for our customers, as well as staff”.
With generous funding from Cambridge University’s Arts and Humanities Impact Fund, Dr Melanie Pitkin, Research Associate (Egyptian Antiquities) at Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, together with two colleagues, Helen Strudwick and Charlotte Thompson, organised and curated the pop-up event.
Dr Pitkin (third from right) said: “The idea is that we bring our expertise, research and collections to the heart of the community and surprise them in unexpected places.
“We want to excite people about not only ancient Egypt and the work we are doing, but also the joy and wonder of museums - especially the local Wisbech Museum and museums in Cambridge”.
Among the artefacts on display at The Wheatsheaf Inn were genuine ancient Egyptian coffin fragments (in a secure display case) from the museum’s collection, replica tools and brushes.
There were also iPads showing virtual 3D models, CT scans and X-rays of coffins which the museum has examined.
Hands-on activities also included a replica of an ancient Egyptian dog coffin which people could try, themselves, to assemble - to learn more about joiney and carpentry techniques”.
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