The Petrie Museum holds over 80,000 Egyptian artefacts but can only display 10% of its collection. Image: UCL

Petrie launches £25,000 Egypt partnership

Geraldine Kendall, 06.09.2011
Effective Collections grant helps Petrie Museum to launch cultural diplomacy project

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology has launched a collections partnership with the Egyptian Educational Centre and Cultural Bureau (EECCB), part of the Egyptian Embassy in London.

Last year the museum was awarded an Effective Collections Special Project grant of £25,000 for a scheme enabling unused objects from its collection to be displayed in the EECCB’s soon-to-be newly refurbished grade 1* listed building.

The Petrie Museum holds over 80,000 Egyptian artefacts but can only display around 10% of this collection at present due to the size of its facility.

Three rooms in the EECCB’s Mayfair property are to be set aside to display over 100 objects from the museum on a three-year rotating basis. The displays will be curated by Egyptian volunteer curators in London and Egypt.

Curators at the museum intend to develop displays in partnership with Fayoum University. The university is situated near to where Sir William Petrie carried out much of his excavation work. 3D imaging tools will allow Fayoum experts to carry out design and interpretation remotely over the internet.

Relations between the museum and source communities in Egypt have previously been hampered because of tensions over repatriation, but the museum hopes the partnership will foster cultural diplomacy and interrogate western interpretations of the collection.

Collections coordinator Sally Cross said: “We are excited about this project’s potential to improve cultural understanding. Of over 30 Effective Collections projects so far, it is the only one with a cultural diplomacy bent."

“The exhibition space is also near lots of Middle Eastern embassies and has the potential to attract people who might not otherwise come to the collections.”

Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund: apply now

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, run by the Museums Association, focuses on time-limited collections work outside the scope of an organisation’s core resources.

Organisations can apply for sums between £20,000 and £100,000.

Applications must reach the MA by Monday 31 October 2011.

For more information about the fund, or to apply, please click here


The original story stated that collections would be displayed in the ballroom of the EECCB. This is not the case. We also stated that busts, pottery and a collection of combs had been earmarked for long-term loan. However, no specific objects have been earmarked for display as yet. The community curators will decide on the objects. Sally Cross' quote has also been altered at her request.