Lighting up the Petrie Museum
By Edmund Connolly, on 13 January 2014
Guest blogger: Pia Edqvist
As people might have realized, the Petrie Museum is currently closed throughout January and February. But why is the Museum closed? The Museum is currently undertaking essential lighting works; the whole museum is getting new lighting including; spot and overhead lights but also new lighting within the display cases. This means that the collection will be better lit and a more environmentally-friendly system will be installed which will also ensure greater conservation-protection for the collection. We are also hoping that the new lighting system will improve the visitor’s experience of the collection. Further enhancements of the display are also planned during this period such as to improve the mounting of objects.
Here one might question though why the Museum would need to be closed to change some lights. The answerer to this question is quite complex, firstly the planning of this project has taken quite some time. Case lights will be changed which means that objects have to be decanted or moved to prevent damage to objects (See Fig.1). To make sure that objects are packed and stored properly crates are used and objects are packed within these crates by the use of bubble-wrap and acid-free tissue paper. (See Fig.2, Fig.3.) Staff working within the Museum have to lend a hand with various tasks within the project and extra help has also been recruited by way of a freelance conservator and volunteers to make this refurbishment possible.
The selection of new light fittings has also been a task within the project; here the use of light-emitting diode (LED) replacement lamps has been the choice. This is because LED lamps have been investigated to be less harmful to objects than other lamps and the cost is also reduced considerably because of the LED’s longer life expectancy. We will keep the public updated on how the refurbishment develops to build up the excitement for the re-opening. The Museum is planning to re-open again on Tuesday 4th March; so you must come and see the newly lit and transformed Petrie Museum and please let us know your impressions: what is the new Petrie like?