Duke of Gloucester visits Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro
The Duke is a patron of the British Museum and a Cambridge archaeology graduate, and his enthusiasm for history was apparent as he toured the gallery, asking lots of questions of the staff, volunteers and contractors on hand to greet him.
He watched with fascination as Oliver Hatfield, from Oh Design, demonstrated how to make a mummy in the exhibition's mummy factory, paused to look at Iset-tayf-nakht's tomb and chatted to Jane Marley, Curator of Archaeology and World Cultures, about various artefacts – including the impressive statue of Sekhmet, on loan from the British Museum.
The Duke also had a look at a dressing up drawer and tried out the audio booth. After signing the museum's visitor's book he then spent some time looking at other displays in the museum – including the very popular Trewinnard Coach, the life size painting of the so-called Cornish Giant Anthony Payne and the Rashleigh Gallery, which houses one of the world's finest mineralogical collections.
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"It was a real privilege to have the Duke here, especially as he seemed genuinely interested in everything he looked at," said Georgia Butters, RCM's Head of Development and Communications.
"Developing the Unwrapping the Past exhibition to celebrate the life and times of our mummy Iset-tayf-nakht was a huge team effort and I'm delighted so many of the people involved were able to meet His Royal Highness and chat to him about what all that they've achieved."
Amongst the dignitaries present was Stephen Timms, South West Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund which contributed a grant of £233,000 towards the cost of the new gallery, John Orna-Ornstein, Head of National Programmes for the British Museum, Peter Stethridge, Chair of the Royal Institution of Cornwall Trustees, Truro Mayor Lindsay Southcombe and Town Clerk Roger Gazzard.
The Duke of Gloucester was accompanied during his visit by Cornwall's Lord Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE.