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Newsletter, July 2008 (Issue 172)

Museums' Ambitious Plans

The Colchester and Ipswich Museums service has produced a Development Plan for the years 2008-2011. Even if you disliked the merger of the museums' services, you might nevertheless be pleased with these plans for enhancing the Ipswich Museums. Perhaps the most striking aim is to provide a new glazed entrance in High Street, covering over the whole courtyard between the actual Museum and the Exhibition Gallery (i.e. the Art Gallery, for the older members!). This would incorporate both buildings into one complex and be a welcoming information space rather than a display area for artifacts. A Louvre Pyramid for Ipswich!

There will be increased emphasis on locally specific collections, for example at the Mansion adding to the Constable and Benton End art collections and concentrating more on the history of the house; at High Street Museum, making more of the Egyptian treasures and the Anglo-Saxons. One reservation about the latter is that it does make sense to concentrate on the Romans at Colchester and the Anglo-Saxons in Ipswich but not at the expense of significantly downgrading the Roman collections in Ipswich.

Being part of a bigger organisation (now a 'Hub Museum') makes it more likely that external funding can be won. Certainly substantial extra money from Government sources and other bodies will be needed. We commend this ambitious approach.

    Front cover of issue 172 Cover, issue 172

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