Kicking off the ITP 2023! (Malissa Kadir, Malaysia, ITP 2023)

Written by Malissa Kadir, Curator at Sarawak Museum Department (Malaysia, ITP 2023)

Hello, my name is Malissa, and I am going to be the first person to write a blog for ITP 2023! The adventure to London began when I received an invitation letter to participate in the BM ITP 2023 several months ago. It was a mixed feeling—excited, thrilled, and nervous at the same time. To cut a long story short, everything was being prepared amazingly by the British Museum, and I left my hometown as early as 3 a.m. to catch a flight to Kuala Lumpur before departing for London on the same day.

View of sunrise over clouds from a plane window.

Since this is my first time in London, I fought my jetlag and joined the other fellows in visiting the National Gallery. There were six of us, and we were excited to see what the gallery had to offer. I liked the gallery as a whole, and my favourite part of the visit was getting to know the works of Da Vinci and Bernini (to name a few!) on display. It was so amazing to see and discover the massive paintings, and I wondered how they managed to hang the big paintings on the wall. The mounting, I must say, is very impressive!
I also got to see paintings of Venice in the 16th century, which reminded me of my unforgettable trip to Venice in 2016: a cold breeze and a great companion.

Photograph of a painting of Venice.

On the first day of the ITP programme, we walked to the British Museum, like a bunch of schoolchildren walking together with our teachers (Ciprian and George) giving some directions and waiting for us patiently when we were distracted by something on the street!
Claire gave us a very warm welcome and explained to us the whole programme, and later the Museum Director Hartwig Fischer joined us. Everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and had a very nice conversation with the Director. Later that day, we were introduced to the Object in Focus project and got to see the object in the museum galleries. And just before we called it a day, George helped us get our security passes, which allow us to enter many UK museums for free. Not only a free entrance to the museums, but it also allows us to get some discounts at the British Museum shops and cafes inside the museum. How convenient is that?
Fast forward to the second day. I spent my time exploring the Ancient Egypt gallery, which I like the most. I was looking for Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus, but sadly, it was not there. But I am so lucky that my fellow ITP from Egypt gave me a free tour and explained the objects on display. Thank you!

We were then given a tour of the British Museum galleries by Alysia, and she is so knowledgeable and able to capture our attention despite the crowds in the galleries. After the tour, we gave our presentations, where we explained our roles and experiences back in our museum. Everybody gave very good and informative presentations. We ended our day with a very relaxed and enjoyable dinner at the Marquis Cornwallis pub and got to do some networking. This is just the beginning, and I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings!