There are a few objects in our museum which hold special significance, firstly to the people of the county, secondly to us and thirdly because they are some of the biggest things in the museum, so take the most effort to move.
A couple of weeks ago it was the bees. They are not that heavy, but obviously we had to make sure we took care of them and the beekeeper made sure none escaped into the museum.
Yesterday it was the turn of the Sheldon Tapestry, the removal and packing of which was masterminded by Victoria Allen, our local Textile Conservator. It took six of us to get it down (well, five… and me pointing) and then four of us to roll it up. Rolling it up isn’t as easy as it sounds. Firstly it had to be carried into the Natural History gallery, as that’s the only gallery with enough floor space to lay it out. The entire floor was covered in bubble wrap to make sure the tapestry didn’t snag on the floor boards and the whole thing had sheets of acid free tissue paper layered on top.
The difficulty came when we were rolling, as the tapestry is not entirely square or flat, and neither is the floor of the gallery! The trials and tribulations of dealing with objects hundreds of years old… After a few false starts we did it and the tapestry is now covered and safe for when we start dismantling the cases.
Come and check it out
Although the design process is still on-going we do know that the tapestry will take pride of place and that we will give it a lot more space to be viewed in all its glory. For all of you to whom the tapestry is a favourite, I encourage you to come and see it when it is finally put back, as it’s going to look great.