Manchester Museum reopens on 18 February 2023 following a £15 million transformation to make it more inclusive and more imaginative in how it tells its stories.
Inside you’ll find several new spaces including a South Asian Gallery curated by people from Manchester’s diaspora communities, and a new Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery.
Highlights in the former, which is delivered in partnership with the British Museum, include a stunning decorated rickshaw by artist Daya Bhatti, and an arresting painting by Azraa Motala. In the Chinese Culture Gallery, a beautifully-lit gathering space serves as a centrepoint to the never-seen collections surrounding it.
There is also a new Exhibition Hall which houses the opening exhibition, Golden Mummies of Egypt. With its dramatic lighting and subtle soundscape, it’s an atmospheric and fascinating look at the eight Egyptian mummies and over 100 ancient artefacts from Manchester University’s world-renowned collection. Make sure you visit it while you can.
Those who loved the old Manchester Museum will not be disappointed by its transformation. The original collection has been enhanced by the new displays and brought up-to-date with current ways of thinking. It still retains the magic and wonder of the old museum but it also manages to feel contemporary and thought-provoking.
Favourites such as the skeletons of the sperm whale and the Belle Vue elephant take pride of place, while the vivarium is still home to some of the cutest little (poisonous) frogs in the UK.
The shop has had a big upgrade too – it’s now a colourful treasure trove of arty and unusual gifts and toys. There is also a fantastic cafe, a picnic area, a quiet room and a prayer room.
Entry is free. The Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibition is expected to be busy, so you’re advised to book a free ticket to guarantee entry – details on their website.