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Manchester Museum unveils revamped gallery

Revamped Living Worlds gallery opens

Published on April 14th 2011.


Manchester Museum unveils revamped gallery

THE Manchester Museum has completed a £400,000 refurbishment of its Living Worlds gallery.

We are trying to get people beyond thinking of the environment as an issue, but to connect their lives with nature for their health and well being, as much as for the good of the environment.

The gallery has been transformed by European events company Villa Eugénie, which has also carried out catwalk productions for global fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior and Hermès.

The museum said the new gallery represented a ‘radical shift’ in the role it plays in relation to its audience, moving away from traditional academic collecting towards ‘a more experiential and campaigning approach’.

The gallery has dispensed with the traditional scientific classifications of museum exhibits, creating new neon titled installations with themes such as Domination, Symbols, Peace, Disasters, Experience and Bodies.

The new gallery is also complemented by a free mobile application downloadable from the Apple App Store. For those without smartphones, the app will be made available by tablet computers held by the museum’s staff.

Henry McGhie, head of collections at The Manchester Museum, said: “This is a radical departure for The Manchester Museum and the presentation of natural specimens across the world. Our work with Villa Eugénie is far from cosmetic.

“We are trying to get people beyond thinking of the environment as an issue, but to connect their lives with nature for their health and well being, as much as for the good of the environment. Living World will encourage them to explore their own ideas about how they would like the world to be.

Etienne Russo, founder of Villa Eugénie, said: “To me it was a natural decision to engage in the redevelopment of The Manchester Museum’s Animal Life Gallery. The shared concerns we have are dear to me because as a father of three children I want to help make sure their ecological, political and economic future is a little brighter.”

The unveiling of the Living Worlds gallery was attended by more than 700 guests and Steve Backshall, star of BBC TV’s ‘Deadly 60’ show.

The project has been funded by the NWDA and The DCMS Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund.

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