ITP Week 2 – Settling in
As promised here are more updates from ITP! We have covered our second week now. This week was occupied more on ‘Hands on’ experience along with topical sessions on loans, museum security, conservation science and how scientific research helps to understand the cultural background of objects. Participants visited different conservation studios at the World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC) to get a close-up experience of different scientific methods for understanding the material composition of objects. This includes exploring the cultural background of objects, from where the materials were collected to the technology behind its production.
Similar to this line shifting from small objects to big landscape conservation, we had session with Kate Davies, General Manager, Stonehenge, English Heritage on Friday afternoon. This presentation was on the huge redesign project which has recently taken place in this world heritage site and includes a brand new visitor centre. When we reached there the next day it was a totally different landscape from what I saw in 2012. Now you have more green space to explore by yourself. The road circling the monuments is now removed giving space to visitors. They can get a wide view of the surrounding monuments which are integral of this ancient landscape. We also had a fun learning trip to Brighton Museum and Gallery. Though it was raining when we just reached Brighton station, later it was sunny and welcoming!
Here are the thoughts from the participants, starting with a follow up tweet from last week’s discussion on children’s museum!
- “Absolutely wonderful session on childhood and children’s museums and a dynamic context in which we got to talk about our perspectives on the subject. As a mother of two children I felt what we were doing today was indeed very relevant, for all, for the young and for the young-at-heart!” Tugba Tanyeri Erdemir , Turkey
- “I am very excited because it is my first weekend in London! I tried to discover the city on my own and I found no difficulties to visit Hydepark, Edgware Road and Oxford Street. Although it was very busy but I enjoyed walking in London streets.” Mohmed Mohamed Mokhtar , Egypt
- “Many months ago i came across the quote below on social media and immediately identified with it in some ways:
‘Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.’
A few months from reading this, I’m here in London again and this time for the ITP. I feel this going to be my opportunity to experience the above – to learn and to grow!”, Vasundhra Sangwan, India
- “I took a one-day-trip to Portsmouth Harbour with my colleagues on this free Sunday. It was a fantastic experience of taking the tube in London from Warren Street Station to Waterloo Station, where I was astonished to see the building of Waterloo Station, which reminded me of the disastrous WWI when people in the world suffered a lot and taught me to treasure the peace of the world today and the friendship of all the 2015 ITP participants.” Dai Xuejing, China
- “It was a very busy day and I mostly enjoyed the lecture about museum security, and I was glad that the British Museum will be adding some layers to its security system. I really wish the Museum world peace so it can be always able to narrate a story about our big world.” Saad Amira, Palestine
- “Encyclopedic Museum”, may be “Temple of Civilizations” … anyway, British Museum is an active platform for performing the idea of global or universal world and comprehensive cultural dialogues. And what is surprising for me; it still has the same mission from its foundation days. Neil Macgregor’s notes about “global museum for global city” or “not national but public museum for everyone” was obvious for me during session in the Enlightenment Gallery. Davit Poghosyan, Armenia
- “I visited the Hirayama Studio; the traditional Chinese mounting skill is very impressive. And we do some reference searching work in the office in WCEC. Today’s highlight is that everyone is exciting in the capsule of London Eye even through it is raining outside.” Chenchen Hou, China
- “I took panoramic picture of the British Museum every morning! It is Friday of the second week. How time flies! I spent the morning at the Department of Asia and CSR. The friendliest and most helpful staff I have ever met! In the afternoon, we had a lovely presentation about Stonehenge. The ITP team is always considerate!” Huan Zhang, China
- “Though its weekend but we wake up early for visiting Stonehenge. It was long way but I enjoyed the day out when it is nice and sunny (Al hamdulilla)! It was amazing experience to visit this important ancient site. Apart from stonehenge we also visited the exhibition on the site and Neolithic houses reconstructed after new visitor centre opened for public. On way back we had lovely afternoon tea at Hilton hotel and also a group photo of ITP 2015. Unfortunately we forgot one of our friends, Jomi!”, Amal Attia Alla Gaber, Sudan and Abdulaziz Al Amri, Saudi Arabia
- “In this interesting programme, I’m getting new experiences and ideas about the wide aspects of museology and cultural heritage every day. Anyway, Stonehenge, its landscape and the exhibition was brilliant. I loved this sunny and lovely day.” Sharareh Farokhnia, Iran
Here are some more second week reflections from Dai Xuejing about wondering in a new city, exploring a new place and utilising the free time in weekends.
“After about two hours on the train, we arrived Portsmouth Station, where the sky was so blue and the sea sight was so beautiful. I took a picture of the harbour which, I think, might be used as a postcard. The HMS Warrior museum and Mary Rose Museum were so worthy to visit which brought me to the Victorian age when the great sailing to every corner of the world created the Great Empire of UK. What was more interesting and helpful was the way to excavate and conserve the 500 years old wooden ship of Mary Rose and the other ships” Dai Xuejing, China
Simultaneously, a thoughtful observation about The British Museum’s objectives, along with encapsulating the image of the museum through taking photographs every day. This leads to sharing cherished memories of good old times in London! Vasundhra shares her emotional attachment with this city how she has been impressed by the city’s cultural life which transformed her from a student of business management to a museum professional:
“I have lived in London a fair amount and according to those who know me well, it is my second home. This city has seen me grow from a 18yr old undergraduate business student into a focused museum professional and my journey along this transition over a decade. It has given me memories and friends i will cherish forever. I now live in New Delhi and work at the National Museum where i have been blessed enough to enjoy my work and colleagues as much”. Vasundhra Sangwan, India
This is it for the time-being!