NEW images have been released showing how visitors will enjoy a virtual journey through Ancient Egypt to discover the hidden treasures of Bolton Museum.
Fresh designs, created from feedback from the public, show how people will be transported to the ancient land through modern technology — as well as a striking installation of Egyptian artefacts suspended form the ceiling.
The images illustrate how designs have evolved since December to reflect suggestions from members of the public and partners, with more detailed consideration given to how artefacts can be best showcased.
The artist’s impressions will continue to evolve as part of the design process of the £3.8 million transformation of the gallery and will be on display in the library and museum building.
A new feature added since the initial designs include a section devoted to Chadwick Museum — depicted as a doll’s house set in parkland — and how Bolton came to acquire such an extensive Egyptology collection.
Local mill owner’s daughter, Annie Barlow was a member of the Egypt Exploration Fund in the 19th century and helped to raise funds for excavations in Egypt. In return for her generous contributions, she was given a number of finds which she donated to the Chadwick Museum.
Chadwick Museum was the town’s first museum, opened in 1884 in Queens Park. When it became too small for its growing collections, the museum in Le Mans Crescent was built in the 1930s and eventually opened in 1947, where it still stands today.
And the centrepiece of the new gallery will be a full-sized recreation of the tomb of Thutmose III.
Each area will continue to depict a different stage of the visitor experience to the gallery, named Bolton’s Egypt: the Portico; Rotunda; Land and People; and Preparing To Live Forever.
Bolton Council’s cabinet member for culture, youth and sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: "This is such an exciting and unique project, and it’s fantastic that members of the public as well as the library and museum service have been able to input into the gallery’s new design.
"We are incredibly lucky here in Bolton, to own some truly magnificent historical artefacts and we want to develop something really special to showcase the town’s Egyptology collection, which is one of the most significant in the UK. We also want to capture people’s imaginations, and create an experience that will appeal to visitors for many years to come.
"The designs are still at the concept stage, and there is still work to be done to develop the final plans, but having seen the early proposals I am confident the end result will be something amazing that we can all enjoy and be proud of."
Helen Mort, creative services manager at Leach Studio which is the museum exhibition designers, said: "It is fantastic to collaborate, create and share in the town’s passion for Egyptology.
"With such an historic and impressive collection of artefacts, we are delighted to work with the wonderful team at Bolton Museum to showcase the collection within our designs and help bring this unique visitor experience to life.
"Our creative team are now looking forward to moving these concepts into reality."
The museum is set to re-open to the public in 2018.