Museums United Kingdom

Bolton Museum makes bid for £1.8m Egyptology wing

The new gallery would include an exact replica of a pharaoh’s tomb

The centrepiece of Bolton's proposed Egyptology wing is a facsimile of the tomb of King Thutmose III

The Bolton Museum in northern England is planning a £1.8m Egyptology wing that will include a life-size facsimile of the burial chamber of King Tuthmosis III. Awarded £115,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012 to update their Egyptian galleries, the museum is now planning to make a bid for a second lottery grant that would allow it to build an entirely new display area above the current museum and library, dedicated to the art and culture of ancient Egypt.

The facsimile tomb was originally commissioned by the Danish company United Exhibits Group for the 2002 touring show “Quest for Immortality”, which included over 200 objects from Bolton Museum’s 12,000-strong collection. Built by the 3-D scanning experts Factum Arte, it is an exact replica of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Tuthmosis III’s burial chamber—down to the damage and aging found on the original, which was first discovered in 1898 in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. The tomb walls present scenes from the Amduat, the royal “Book of the Dead” that details the sun god’s nightly journey into the afterlife before he is regenerated and rises with the dawn.

The Bolton Museum will submit its grant proposal in August and the Heritage Lottery Fund is expected to make its decision in December. If the bid is approved, the museum would start the redevelopment of the Egyptian galleries in early 2015.

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