HLF awards £950,000 to National Museum of Scotland for Egypt and Asia collection galleries

26 May 2016
A.1956.191-Mask-93191.jpg Ancient Egype
The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced its initial support for the next phase of a Masterplan to transform the National Museum of Scotland.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced its initial support for the next phase of a Masterplan to transform the National Museum of Scotland (NMS), with the creation of two new galleries to house the museum's Ancient Egypt and East Asian collections. Read our exclusive 'behind the scenes' NMS column in each issue of History Scotland magazine.

The award of a First Round Pass for a HLF grant of £950,000 towards this major £3 million project will enable National Museums Scotland to create two new galleries to open in 2018. This project will be the fourth and final phase of a 15-year Masterplan designed to transform the National Museum of Scotland.

Examples of the outstanding collections that will be displayed in the new galleries include:

* The Qurna burial, the only intact royal burial group outside of Egypt

* A statue dedicated to King Snefru, who built the first true pyramid

  • * A bodhisattva in gilt bronze from 15th to 17th century China
  • * A Japanese woodblock print from 1861, which is one of 4,000 owned by National Museums Scotland


Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland, commented, 'We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded funding for the final stage of our Masterplan for the National Museum of Scotland. This grant will enable us to create two exciting new galleries in which to showcase our outstanding collections of Egyptian and East Asian material. Importantly the funding also allows us to create an ambitious programme of work right throughout Scotland, sharing collections, knowledge and skills across the breadth of the country.'

The two new galleries: Ancient Egypt Rediscovered and Exploring East Asia will display material from some of the most important civilisations in human history through artefacts that are amongst the finest of their kind.  While the Egyptian gallery will show many previously unseen treasures from the national collections, the East Asia gallery will explore China, Japan and Korea with a host of important, 'beautiful and thought provoking' objects.

The galleries will invite visitors to reinterpret the familiar and explore the unknown. They will include a range of innovative digital experiences and be supported by an extensive learning programme, deepening engagement for students and visitors of all ages.

National Museums Scotland will work with individuals, trusts, foundations and the corporate sector to secure the remaining funds to complete the next phase of the 'ambitious and important' project. The galleries will open in late 2018, when the Masterplan will then be complete.



(Images copyright National Museums Scotland)