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Progress of the work: December 2004 


Greek gallery with blocked doorwayThe Egyptian galleries are now well and truly closed. The doorway has been replaced with a substantial wall. 

If all goes according to the current plan, a prototype case for the new displays will be constructed here in January, and so an electrical socket has been installed to be ready to provide power to the case. The prototype will give us a chance to experiment with arrangements of objects as well as evaluating the suitability of the case for our needs. 

Behind the wall, good progress is being made in removing the objects stored in reserve areas, including the storage areas under the cases. As the objects are removed, a list is maintained so that their new locations can be entered on to our computer system. This is an essential part of the process as it would be disastrous if we lost track of where objects are currently stored.

Some of the old storage spaces are hidden behind the existing display cases. The space is so tight that the storage drawers can only be removed with the greatest care; there is about 1 mm of clearance on either side!

At the same time, we have to make space in the special storage area for our metal objects, called the Bronze Reserve. The environment in this area is kept dry and this prevents any corrosion on the metal objects stored in it from becoming worse. 

Sorting bronzesDuring the recent building work in the museum several of our storage spaces, including the Bronze Reserve, were fitted out with new cupboards. Now the Bronze Reserve objects need to be placed on the new shelves which will store them in more a suitable way as well as making them more easily accessible. This new arrangement also uses the space in a better way, so that there will be the space we need for the metal objects which are coming out of the old display cases.

The last large stone object remaining in the galleries is a shrine (naos) from a temple built by Tuthmosis III at a place called El Kab. This has to be removed before January, when building work will start, but it is a difficult object to move. Fortunately, the University's Engineering Department enjoy helping us with challenges of this kind and we are able to call on them for assistance. 

On 13 December, a team from Engineering arrive with a specially adapted pallet truck which is just the right size to fit around the plinth on which the shrine is resting. Using the pallet truck, the shrine is manoeuvred out of the gallery and into the Western Asiatic gallery. Once there, it is carefully moved into position and wedged to secure it. 
The shrine will stay in its new home until late in 2005 when we will be calling on our friends from Engineering to move it into place within the redisplayed Egyptian galleries. 

Moving the shrine of Tuthmosis IIIMoving the shrine of Tuthmosis IIIMoving the shrine of Tuthmosis III