June 27 was a rather unusual day for us. It started dramatically as the fire alarm broke off early in the morning at about 8:00 am when we were all getting ready to go to the museum. Luckily it was a false alarm.
At 9.30 am we were all waiting at the information desk and each group of participants spent the morning sessions in their respective departments. Since mine is the Department of the Middle East I spent the first session with Alexandra Fletcher who introduced us to the department. We toured the Ancient Levant and the Rahim Irvani galleries were we had the chance to admire the collection and talked about the new display or “facelift” that happened in 2009. It is amazing how some minor changes like changing the color of the walls to highlight the exposed objects better or changing the font and the wording of the panels can have a great impact on a gallery and make it a more interesting and enjoyable place to visit.
After the tour of the gallery we visited the OLT or Old Lecture Theater that is now used as a storage area were the ceramics and stone artifacts are kept. Then we had a very interesting tour of other storage areas in the basement of the department with Dean Baylis who explained to us how heavy objects are prepared and packed before they are sent on loan to other museums or on temporary exhibitions in England or all over the globe.
After lunch we enjoyed a tour of the Department of Coins and Medals with Ian Leins.
The day ended with the much anticipated visit to the London Eye. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the day!