TOWN Hall chiefs will fly to the Far East next month to deliver more than 100 items from the Bolton Museum’s stunning Egyptology collection.

The artefacts are part of a touring exhibition, to be called Quest for Immortality — The Bolton Museum Collection, which will tour China and Taiwan for up to two years.

As revealed last November, Denmarkbased, United Exhibits Group (UEG), contacted the council to ask if it could borrow some of the 1,500-strong Egyptology collection.

Egyptology expert Nicholas Reeves, who formerly worked at the British Museum and is currently a fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was instrumental in pointing UEG in Bolton’s direction.

Cllr Noel Spencer, who was only installed as the mayor on Wednesday afternoon, was interviewed for Taiwanese TV station yesterday, ahead of the trip.

He said: “This is a massive opportunity for Bolton and we are so proud to be playing such a prominent role in this superb exhibition.”

The mayor will accompany curator Dr Carolyn Routledge and the council’s director of development and regeneration, Keith Davies, on the five-day trip, which has been funded by UEG and will also be used as a chance to build trade links with the Far East.

The firm, which specialises in putting together international tours, is also funding the cost of new mounts for the exhibits, conservation work and analysis using state-ofthe- art 3D scanners.

Cllr Sufrana Bashir- Ismail, the Executive member for adult services, said: “We are thrilled and very honoured Egyptian objects from Bolton Museum are forming part of the Quest for Immortality exhibition in Taiwan.

“The process of packing and transporting the objects to Taiwan is technically challenging and Bolton Museum’s Egyptologist, Dr Carolyn Routledge, will be accompanying the collection to Taipai and installing them in the exhibition with the help of Bolton conservator, Pierrette Squires.

“We hope the project will not only emphasise the excellence of Bolton Museum but also raise the profile of Bolton overseas.”

Bolton’s Egyptology collection dates back to the 1880s when the daughter of a mill owner from the town donated a mummy and other items.

Over the past century the collection, which is seen as among the best in the museum world, has been built up to more than 1,500 pieces.