BOLTON Museum has revealed how its new Egyptology gallery could look.

The museum is undergoing a multi-million pound transformation which is set to make the town an international tourist attraction, drawing in crowds from around the world to see one of the most significant Egyptology collections.

Conceptual designs for the Eternal Egypt gallery have now been drawn up by Huddersfield-based exhibition designers Leach Studio.

The images show four different stages of the potential visitor experience to Eternal Egypt.

However, the designs are continually evolving and interested parties will be invited to give feedback in the New Year on what they think works and how they would like the exhibition space to look.

Museum bosses are investing £3.8 million so visitors can experience the wonder of Ancient Egypt.

The money will come from a Bolton Council capital grant of £3.8 million, income from the museum’s touring exhibition, plus a contribution from sponsor Eddie Davies.

As visitors enter the exhibition, they look set to be welcomed into the area called the Rotunda, which will set the scene and explain why Bolton Museum has such an extensive Egyptology collection. A section named Land and People has also been proposed which will be devoted to artefacts showing the everyday life of Egyptians.

The focus will be on subjects like the environment and beauty, and feature an interactive mummy as centrepiece.

The Eternal Egypt experience could then see visitors go through to the darkened Beliefs section — focusing on death and the afterlife — before leading to the museum’s facsimile tomb of Thutmose III.

The tomb is a full size reproduction of the Pharaoh’s burial chamber and will be the jewel in the crown of the exhibition.

Finally, the Reflections area could offer visitors the chance to reflect on why Boltonians are similar to Ancient Egyptians, looking at the similarities between the two groups many hundreds of years apart.

The images will be shared on the museum’s Facebook page, and among community groups and school groups, to gauge the public’s views and feedback on the designs.

More detailed concepts will then be drawn up early next year and final designs submitted in the spring, with the museum re-opening to the public in 2018.

Bolton Council’s cabinet member for culture, youth and sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: “As initial concepts for the new Eternal Egypt gallery, these designs are really exciting and give a flavour of what our museum could look like.

“These designs are subject to change as we are just at the start of this creative journey, but I can’t wait to see the finished gallery and welcome visitors to our fantastic museum. We would love to hear what people think and would encourage them to get involved on social media.”

The new Eternal Egypt Gallery will replace the museum’s current Egyptology exhibition, and for the museum will be able to exhibit items which because of the conditions and lighting could not be displayed, such as rare textiles.

Nichola Ward, head of creative at Leach Studio, added: “We’re delighted to be involved in such an exciting project, and look forward to working with the Bolton community as our creative designs begin to evolve. Museum and heritage is at the heart of our business and we can’t wait to bring Egyptology to life!”

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Thutmose III was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

During the first 22 years of Thutmose’s reign he was co-regent with his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh.

After her death and his later rise to Pharaoh of the kingdom, he created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen — no fewer than 17 campaigns were conducted, and he conquered from Niya in North Syria to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile

Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost 54 years, and his reign is usually dated from April 24, 1479 BCE to March 11, 1425 BCE; however, this includes the 22 years he was co-regent to Hatshepsut.

When Thutmose III died, he was buried in the Valley of the Kings as were the rest of the kings from this period in Egypt.

Thutmose III’s mummy was discovered in the Deir el-Bahri Cache above the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsutin 1881.

The mummy had been damaged extensively in antiquity by tomb robbers.

The mummy of Thutmose III now resides in the Royal Mummies Hall of the Cairo Museum.


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

Unlike comparable collections in the UK, the majority of the objects are excavated and thus retain full provenance information.

Currently only five per cent of the collection can be displayed and the new gallery will allow more of the 15,000 artefacts to be shown on a rotational basis.

The new Eternal Egypt gallery will be created in the museum’s current Art Gallery, History Centre and temporary exhibition gallery, on the first floor of Bolton Museum.

On completion, the Art Gallery will be situated in the former Egyptology Gallery.

The History Centre will have a new, permanent home on the ground floor of the building, within Central Library.

1. Rotunda

2. Land & People

3. Beliefs

4. Reflections