Mariem Danial, Coptic Museum Egypt: Norfolk Museums Service
Mariem Danial, Curator, Coptic Museum Egypt
I am Mariem Danial from Egypt, a curator at the Coptic museum in Egypt. I am glad to tell you about my UK Partner days at Norfolk Museums Service. My first impression of Norwich city is that it is a beautiful, quiet and clean city with fascinating architecture. After arriving at Norfolk castle we had afternoon tea with Sarah Gore, Jo Warr and Steve Miller head of Norfolk museum followed by a tour of Norwich Cathedral – enjoying decorated ceiling, painted glass and beautiful grounds.
We rode the train heading for Great Yarmouth to visit Time and Tide Museum, which has original smokehouses, giving the museum its unique character. We joined a school education workshop of 99 students to the temporary exhibition “Titanic Honour and Glory”. The pupils assumed the role of passengers to know more about this disaster from the perspectives of people who lived through it.
Going through permanent exhibitions at the museum you experience the atmosphere of a 1950 fish wharf and take the wheel of a costal drifter. They have in the toy display room “memory telephone” where when you pick up the phone, it gives you two choices the first one is to listen to memories from Great Yarmouth city and the second to record one of your memories associated with the city.
We went to three house museums, presenting different periods and styles of architecture, furniture and decoration. The Elizabethan House museum explores the lives of families who lived from Elizabethan to Victorian times and you get a feel for daily domestic life, from that of the maid in the kitchen to life as merchant and master of the household.
Strangers Hall, a unique medieval merchant’s house situated in the heart of Norwich, dates back to 1320, with a magnificent Great Hall and 16 rooms illustrating how bedrooms, living room and kitchen styles changed from Tudor to Victorian times.
And last but not least we spent time at Norwich Castle museum and art gallery. Norwich castle was built by the Normans as a royal palace 900 years ago. The displays illustrate what life was like in Norwich when it became the count’s prison.
In the museum galleries there are wonderful objects, especially Egyptian objects and the largest collection of teapots in England, the surprise for me was that they have pieces of the Coptic textile in the archaeology store room.