Victorian Gallery reopens at Dorset County Museum

REOPENED: The completed floor in the Victorian Gallery at  Dorset County Museum is examined by Jenny Cripps

REOPENED: The completed floor in the Victorian Gallery at Dorset County Museum is examined by Jenny Cripps

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

VISITORS to the Dorset County Museum will be treading where few have trod before.

The Dorchester museum’s Victorian Gallery has been closed for more than a week while major repair work was done on its floor.

The operation meant moving all the exhibits out of the museum’s main gallery, including two Roman sarcophagi, and carefully fitting the new flooring in around 2,000-year-old mosaics.

The exhibits then had to be put carefully back into place before the museum could open as normal again today.

During the closure of the Victorian Gallery the museum has been offering free entry to the rest of the attraction.

Assistant collections manager Helen Sergeant said: “It has been really interesting to see how it’s all been taking place, everything has had to come out so we could do the work, including the Roman sarcophagi.

“They are incredibly fragile and we had to get in touch with the British Museum to work out the best way of doing it.

“I’m particularly pleased with how it’s gone because we were very worried about the mosaics but we protected them whilst the work was going on and the company was very careful.”

All the galleries pictures had to be specially protected as well while the rest of the section, including the cases where the exhibits were housed, was completely emptied.

Helen said she was delighted with the results, with the new floor making all the upheaval and hard work worth it.

She said: “I think it really sets of the mosaic floors.

“This is where we put quite a lot of the start and the mosaics are so beautiful.

“We are just so pleased and proud that it’s been done.”

Collections manager Dr Jenny Cripps was also pleased with the completed work.

She said: “It looks so much better in here and brighter and more colourful, everything has all come together.

“Not only is this room used for the museum but we also have events here in the evening and this will make it nicer for everybody coming in.”

The museum is open from 10am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday, with more information available at dorsetcountymuseum.org

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