THE fascinating world of ancient Egypt is waiting to be discovered at Bolton Museum.

Bolton’s collection houses about 12,000 objects from more than 65 sites in Egypt and is arguably one of the most important in a British local authority museum.

The collection includes everything from mummies, coffins, tomb reliefs and jewellery.

About 250 objects are currently on tour as part of the Quest for Immortality — The Hidden Treasure of Ancient Egypt exhibition in the Far East, which has raised the profile of the museum in Bolton and on an international scale.

Dr Carolyn Routledge, collections access officer, said: “The Egyptology Gallery is the most popular gallery in the museum.

“The tour has raised the profile of the collection tremendously, there is more interest in the wider community, rather than just providing academic knowledge, it is about popular knowledge.”

The Egyptology Gallery is due, subject to a £1.8 million Heritage Lottery Funding grant, to undergo a transformation, including housing a full-scale reconstruction of the tomb of a great Egyptian Pharaoh — the only one of its kind in the world.

Dr Routledge said: “We are excited about the plans, but we are trying to keep a lid on it until it happens and are keeping focused.

“The grant will allow us to display the collection in a way which will give visitors a better understanding of it and it will be more exciting for them.”

The collection is thanks to Annie Barlow, daughter of one of the most successful mill companies, Barlow and Jones, founded by James Barlow of Edgworth, became interested in Ancient Egypt and supported the Egypt Exploration Society, a group set up to promote interest in the monuments of Egypt.

She was appointed as Local Secretary for Bolton, responsible for raising funds for the society.

Dr Routledge said because Ms Barlow worked with the curators, rather than sourcing items for her private collection, the exhibits have been preserved with full provenance information.