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Launch of the new-look Ure Museum – University of Reading

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Launch of the new-look Ure Museum

Release Date 24 October 2005

an object from the Ure MuseumThe Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology at the University of Reading is to relaunch on Wednesday 26 October to mark the completion of a year-long refurbishment of its displays. To celebrate the renewal there will be an afternoon of talks by renowned Classics scholars (1). The new-look museum presents its collections in an innovative and exciting way, and it will be a vibrant educational resource for visitors of all ages, as well as academics, students and the many school groups who come to learn about topics such as mummification, hieroglyphics and making Greek pottery. One special new object is now on display: a statue of Aphrodite and Eros on loan from the British Museum. There are a number of other new acquisitions which will get their own mini-launches over the coming months – such as a coin showing Alexander the Great and a Cypro-Egyptian pot from the Chichester Museum. "This redevelopment has really helped us improve access and facilities for our visitors, and it means we will be able to expand our programme of special events and holiday activities," said Dr Amy Smith, the museum's curator. "The displays had been left virtually untouched since the 1970s so it was definitely time to reinterpret and redisplay the collection for our ever-expanding audience." With more than 2,000 objects (including a mummified cat's head), the Ure Museum is recognised as the fourth largest collection of Greek ceramics in Britain, and regularly attracts international scholarly interest. It also contains an important collection of Egyptian antiquities, prehistoric pottery and metal and stone artefacts. The displays have been rearranged into themes such as 'Myth and religion' and 'Household', and new text display boards help visitors explore the ancient world through objects. The renewal project, which cost around £55,000, has been funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the University with extra help from the Annual Fund and the Friends of the University. University of Reading departments as diverse as Typography, Physics and Soil Sciences lent a hand in transforming the museum. The museum can be visited 9am to 5pm on weekdays, admission free. However, it is regularly used by university and school groups, so visitors should call ahead and check on availability. For further information please telephone 0118 378 6990 or e-mail: ure.education@reading.ac.uk End Notes for editors 1. The afternoon of talks (attendance by invitation only) will feature lectures from: -Professor Jane Gardner (University of Reading), Welcome and introduction. -Dr Victoria Sabetai (Academy of Athens), "R Burrows and PN Ure in Boeotia". -Professor Brian Sparkes (University of Southampton), "Troilos in Tuscany". 2. The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology is named after Percy Ure, the first Professor of Classics at Reading (1911-46), and his wife Annie, Curator of the Museum until just before her death in 1976. The collections represent the main fabrics, shapes, decorative techniques and evolutionary stages of Greek pottery. The objects have been donated by individuals and organisations such as the British Museum and the British School of Archaeology in Egypt, and many objects were hand-picked by the Ures to maximise the museum's role as a resource for the study of ancient Greek pottery. The museum's archival materials relate to the lives and works of its founders, including records of their excavations at Rhitsona, Greece. For further information on the Museum, visit http://www.reading.ac.uk/ure -Please note that the launch event is not taking place in the Ure Museum itself. Members of the media who would like to arrange a time to come to the Museum to take pictures should contact Rhianedd Smith, Assistant Curator. Tel: 0118 378 6990 Email: ure.education@rdg.ac.uk For image requests and other media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University press officer. Tel: 0118 378 7388 E-mail: c.hillsley@reading.ac.uk

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