Haslemere Educational Museum had the delight of welcoming Professor Mary Beard at the partnership launch event of A British Museum Spotlight Loan Troy: beauty and heroism. Professor Mary Beard is a Trustee of the British Museum, as well as a Professor of Classics at University of Cambridge.

The British Museum Spotlight Loan at Haslemere Museum consists of two ancient objects, an Etruscan funerary urn from approximately 100 BC and a 2,500 year old Athenian amphora, as well as two more modern artworks – a 19th century drawing by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rosetti and a 17th century etching by the Baroque artist Pietro Testa, all relating to the story of Helen and Achilles.

On arrival, guests were served champagne and luxury chocolates as part of the celebrations to mark the start of this exceptional Spotlight Loan at Haslemere Museum. A unique floral arrangement inspired by the exhibition design was created by Melissa King of Marley Flowers and displayed on stage at the launch event.

In the first of three speeches, Melanie Odell MBE, Chairman of the Haslemere Museum, welcomed guests to the event, including representatives from the British Museum, Mayors of Haslemere & Waverley, Trustees and Patrons of the Museum. She also thanked the staff and contractors from both museums for their hard work and dedication in bringing the extraordinary exhibition together. Sarah Saunders, Head of Learning and National Partnerships then spoke about the British Museum’s National Programmes scheme and looked forward to continuing the partnership with Haslemere Museum.

In the final speech of the launch event, Professor Mary Beard brought the loan objects to life in her description of the story of Helen and Achilles. Professor Beard also described her support for British Museum national loans to enable people from around the country to directly engage with these historic objects and their stories. Later, Professor Beard also spent time speaking with other guests and looking at the Spotlight Loan on display in the Human History Gallery.

The British Museum Spotlight Loan Troy: beauty and heroism continues at Haslemere Museum until Saturday 7th May and a series of associated events for all ages is planned for the duration.  The events include on 24h February at 2pm, Vicky Donnellan, Catalogue Manager at the British Museum will talk about how Helen and Achilles have been represented in art and literature throughout history and on March 4th at 7pm the Museum welcomes Patron and internationally renowned sculptor, Philip Jackson, for a talk “The Changing Face of Beauty”.  For full event details and bookings please visit www.haslemeremuseum.co.uk

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