VISITING THE CITY MUSEUM
MUSEUM GUIDE: Welcome to the City Museum and Art Gallery. Before we
start our tour, I'd like to give you a bit of background information
about the place itself.
The museum was founded in 1849 as a home for the collections built
up over the years by the local Cultural Society, and is one of seven
museums owned by the city council. Its collections of dinosaurs and
mummies are well known, and it also has one of Britain's top five
exhibitions of natural science. Unfortunately, not all areas are
open to the public at the moment. In the cellar storerooms, for
example, there are, amongst other things, display cases full of
butterflies, and many others full of birds.
Upstairs, there's a section designed especially for children, for
those of you who are interested, where young people can dress up,
draw pictures, and find out about the museum at their own pace. It's
called 'Let's Interact' and there's more noise there than silence,
as you might imagine. But we find this to be a successful way of
attracting children to museums. Let's face it, museums in the past
have been boring, rather stuffy places for children, and indeed
adults, to visit.
The picture galleries, which we'll be visiting later, boast a fine
collection of drawings, prints and woodcuts by German artists, and
the art collection is arranged thematically, rather than
chronologically. The themes we shall see are: colour, light,
movement, signs, and symbols.
It's a bit cold here, I'm afraid. I do apologise for this but, I'm
sorry to say, the central heating needs a million-pound refit, which
the city can't afford to undertake at the moment. So, if any of you
are millionaires, and feeling generous today, please see me after
Now, if you will just follow me to the end of the Grand Colonnade,
we'll turn right Into the first exhibit room on the ground floor...
Now, this room houses the Rutland Dinosaur. As you can see, it's
three and a half metres high and fourteen metres long, quite an
intimidating sight! This Cetiosaurus, as ifs called, was found in
England's smallest county in 1968. The creature loped across the
countryside 175 million years ago, and is the most complete example
of the breed discovered to date. Most of the neck, some of the spine
and a bit of the tail were found in Rutland; the rest of the tail is
polystyrene. For those of you who prefer your dinosaurs on a much
more human scale, there is a much smaller 200-million-year-old
Pilosaur over there. Now, if you'd like to follow me up the stairs,
we'll make our way to the...