Queen to Reopen Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery

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Queen to Reopen Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery

The Queen will reopen the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery at the British Museum

Wednesday 8th November 2017

Her Majesty The Queen will reopen the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia at the British Museum in central London. The Gallery has recently undergone a major programme of renovation and restoration, and will house a wider selection of objects from one of the finest collections of its kind in the world.

The Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery was originally opened by The Queen in 1992. Twenty-five years later, Her Majesty will tour the refurbished gallery space, accompanied by Sir Joseph. The Queen will also unveil an inscription to mark the occasion.

The newly refurbished Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery will tell the stories of China and the countries of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal) from 5000 BC to the present day. The refurbishment, which began in June 2016, has created opportunities to exhibit new types of object, including ink paintings, calligraphy and textiles, which require carefully regulated conditions for display. The new exhibits complement existing display items, which include sculpture, ceramics, lacquer, jade and metal ware. The entire collection benefits from new lighting and design.

This major gallery will reopen to the public in phases. The first phase has been completed to mark the 25th anniversary of The Queen’s visit in 1992. The final phase will be completed in mid-December. This refurbishment has been made possible by a donation from The Sir Joseph Hotung Charitable Settlement.

Founded in 1753, the British Museum was the first national public museum in the world. From the outset, it granted free admission to all ‘studious and curious persons.’ Visitor numbers have grown from around 5000 a year in the eighteenth century to 6.2 million in 2016/17. Additionally, millions more people from all over the world access and interact with the Museum through its digital channels.

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