Museums

  1. Congolese activist fined for stealing African artefact

    Quai Branly museum
    Image caption: The staff was stolen from the Quai Branly museum in Paris (File image)

    A Congolese activist has been fined for stealing an African artefact from a museum in France.

    Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza said he took the 19th Century Chadian funeral staff from the Quai Branly museum in June as part of a protest against colonial-era plundering.

    Mr Diyabanza intends to appeal against the 1,000 euro ($1,200; £900) fine, reports AFP news agency.

    He is quoted by AFP as saying that the "judges of a corrupt government" had no moral right to prevent him "going to get what belongs to us".

    "We will continue the fight with whatever means we have," he added.

    Vice magazine has described Mr Diyabanza as "a real-life Killmonger" - a character in the Black Panther film who protests against a museum in Europe keeping an artefact pillaged from Africa.

  2. Video content

    Video caption: Cold War Steve's celebration of Birmingham on display

    Cold War Steve's latest work can now be seen at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery after its launch was cancelled due to coronavirus.

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Renovation of Brazil's National Museum on hold

    Before the 2018 fire the museum housed some of the country's most invaluable historical treasures.

  4. Exhibition exploring history of dub music opens

    Noting Hill Carnival

    An exhibition celebrating the history of dub reggae music and culture in the capital has opened at the Museum of London.

    Dub London: Bassline of a City examines how dub music has shaped London communities over the last 50 years, from its roots in Jamaican reggae to the influence it has on society today.

    The exhibition features a bespoke record shop with a selection of 150 records available to listen to, historic and contemporary photography, and the speaker stack belonging to Channel One Sound System which has appeared at every Notting Hill Carnival since 1983.

    Channel One Sound System

    Curator Theresa Dhaliwal Davies explained that when they arrived in London the Windrush generation "faced racism, a lack of accommodation and no access to meaningful work" so the "importance of community meant retaining a feeling of ‘home’ through Caribbean music and culture".

    "This led to introducing reggae and dub to London as sound systems which were set up at blues parties or ‘shabeens’ held in people’s homes in dense working-class areas of London, creating a protected space for people to express themselves.

    "These parties paved the way for bigger sound systems, spilling into community centres, churches and outdoor spaces. All of this contributed to how dub reggae music and culture would influence London," she said.

    Dub London: Bassline of a City runs until 31 January 2021 with tickets for the free exhibitionavailable on the Museum of London website.

    Sound system
  5. Medical museum searching for Covid-19 patients

    A London medical museum is searching for people who were treated in hospital for coronavirus so they can tell the story of the pandemic from the perspective of patients.

    The Anaesthesia Heritage Centre, based in Portland Place, was formed in 1953 and tells the story of anaesthesia from its first public demonstration in 1846 to today through its collection of over 13,000 items.

    The museum, which is normally free to visit but has been closed since lockdown began, said it wanted to record people's experiences for its oral history programme as well as collect objects related to the pandemic.

    Caroline Hamson, Heritage Manager, said: "Anaesthetists have been on the frontline treating critically ill patients, and we want to speak to people treated by them.

    "The patient story is often an untold aspect of medical history, and capturing these personal recollections will allow us to tell the story of the pandemic to current and future visitors and researchers."

    Interviews are expected to take place via Zoom in the autumn and anyone interested in taking part should email Ms Hamson at heritage@anaesthetists.org.

  6. London's largest Bronze Age hoard to go on display

    Part of Havering Hoard

    An exhibition which displays London’s largest ever Bronze Age hoard in its entirety for the first time is set to open on 11 September.

    Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery was due to open at the Museum of London Docklands earlier in the year but it was postponed by lockdown.

    The exhibition delves into the mystery of 453 bronze objects, dating between 900 and 800 BC, which were discovered during an archaeological investigation in Havering near the end of 2018.

    Havering hoard

    The museum's curator of archaeology, Kate Sumnall, described the hoard as a "hugely significant archaeological find that adds valuable new information into a fascinating moment of London’s past."

    "The exhibition starts with the moment of discovery and visitors will be taken on a journey back through time exploring the stories the hoard can tell us," she said.

    The exhibition will be free to visit but tickets need to be booked in advance on the museum website.

  7. British Museum cleaning under way ahead of reopening

    Man cleaning artefact

    Specialists are working on the biggest single cleaning programme at the British Museum in decades after dust accumulated on artefacts during the lockdown.

    Teams of experts have been cleaning the surfaces of the exhibits in order to prevent them from getting damaged by the particles.

    More than 30 staff members have been working on dusting the museum's collections for around three weeks.

    The venue, which has been shut to visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic, is set to reopen on 27 August.

    Fabiana Portoni, the museum's preventive conservator and dust expert, said that the accumulation of dust particles on the museum's ancient artefacts can cause long-term damage.

    The shortage of people flowing through the galleries and disrupting the air meant dust accumulated in more unusual places where it wouldn't normally be expected to be found, she said, adding that only limited cleaning took place while the museum was closed

    Visits to the museum will need to be pre-booked and a one-way route will be installed around some of its galleries.

  8. Video content

    Video caption: National Gallery and Kelvingrove museums reopen

    Visitors are required to book online as part of a range of infection control measures.