Museum treasures heading to Somerset

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 June 2011

Some of the items in the collection will return to Weston for special exhibitions

Some of the items in the collection will return to Weston for special exhibitions

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THOUSANDS of historic artefacts and treasures from Weston Museum will be safeguarded at a new heritage museum in Somerset.

The agreement, signed between Weston Town Council, North Somerset Council and Somerset County Council, will see around 60,000 of the objects housed in the new Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton.

All of the objects being sent to Taunton are currently being stored in an upstairs room at the facility, and some will return to the museum for special, themed exhibitions.

The museum, which was founded in 1859, will still display the hundreds of objects that are currently on show.

The objects currently among the museum’s collection include Iron Age and Roman artefacts, key geological finds and important art works by local artists.

The town council’s clerk, Malcolm Nicholson, said: “The collection includes important geological and art collections, including works by the renowned artist Thomas Gainsborough.

“But the social history collections are perhaps the most distinctive; containing what must be one of England’s best collections relating to a seaside resort.

“I think it will be very good for the collection of the museum will be cared for by a very professional service at the museum in Taunton.

“In time we will be bringing different parts of the collection back to Weston for exhibitions on different eras.”

The county council’s group manager for heritage and libraries, Tom Mayberry, said: “The future of these collections was looking uncertain because of funding constraints. But all the partners were determined that they should be safeguarded and that Weston Museum should continue to operate.”

Councillor Christine Lawrence, the county council’s cabinet member for the community said: “We are delighted that this new partnership has been established.

“The arrangement ensures that some of our heritage collections, which make the ancient county of Somerset such a special place, are kept for future generations to enjoy.”

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