Friday, November 21, 2008

Ashmolean Dash!

Panic!! The Ashmolean Museum (you know, the one always covered in scaffolding on Beaumont Street) is going to close! Not forever - that would be a BIG PANIC - but for a year. The closing dates are:

23 December 2008 - November 2009 (date to be confirmed nearer the time)

Good news, though: the shop will still be open! Sadly, the cafe will be shut. Time to check out one of the yummy cafes on nearby George Street or Little Clarendon Street.

So why the closure? Well, in case you hadn't noticed, the Ashmolean is undergoing a lot of expansion work at the moment. They've finally had enough of dangling blocks of bricks from cranes over temporary walkways and are having to finish by shutting the inside. The new building will double the existing display space, providing 39 new galleries, an education centre, and, most excitingly perhaps, a rooftop cafe.

The theme will be 'Crossing Cultures Crossing Time', which will break away from the traditional museum style of dividing displays by location or point in time (eg: a room for the 1600s, or Anglo-Saxon times, and a room for South Africa and a room for North America). Instead, it intends to show how different cultures are connected, how they have influenced each other and travelled. The rooms will be themed under categories such as money, reading and writing, and intepretations of the human image, and will show how such things have developed across the world throughout time.

Sounds exciting - bring on November 2009!

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