Work on Bolton Museum’s new tribute to ancient Egypt is set to start in December.
A new gallery, entitled Eternal Egypt, will be built in the museum’s current art gallery, history centre and temporary exhibition gallery.
It will feature a full size reproduction of the burial chamber of Thutmose III as its centrepiece and depict Bolton’s important links to ancient Egypt in a family-friendly and interactive exhibition.
In order for the work to take place, the museum – which is situated on the top floor of the building - will be closed to the public for the duration of the £3.5 million project.
The main closure will come into effect on Thursday, December 1, although the History Centre will close on Sunday, October 23.
History Centre services will reopen in Central Library on the ground floor on Monday, November 28 and this will become its permanent home.
Visitors to the museum will be able to continue to enjoy exhibitions during the refurbishment in two new galleries to be created on the lower ground floor, next to the Aquarium which will be open as normal.
An Animals and Us exhibition will be created in Lecture Theatre Two and feature a broad selection of the museum collections.
The family-friendly exhibition, opening on Saturday, December 3, will show how animals feature in all aspects of our lives, including religion, sport, entertainment and fashion.
The museum’s art collection will be represented in a new exhibition, also on the lower ground floor, to open on Saturday, December 10.
Entitled Making Landscape, the exhibition will feature a selection from 1778 – 2016, including stunning 18th century watercolours to contemporary photographs.
School visits to the museum will continue to operate while the work is ongoing and a new programme of events will be publicised nearer the time.
Families are invited to the museum’s final Super Saturdays prior to the refurbishment, on October 29 and November 26. Activities are free from 11am to 3.30pm.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “As one of the top tourist attractions in Greater Manchester, the museum is extremely popular with young and old alike so we’ve put a lot of thought into how we can maintain visitors’ interest during the refurbishment.
“As well as two new exhibitions, there’ll be a whole programme of family-friendly activities incorporating some fresh ideas. There will undoubtedly be a period of disruption but it will be well worth it.
“The project will enable us to undertake essential maintenance work at the same time as creating an exciting new Egyptology for future generations to enjoy.”
It is anticipated the museum will reopen to the public in 2018.
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