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Exhibition Sudan:Ancient Treasures near Durham in the UK

5/10/2005 9:31pm

Dear Bakri

This would be of intrest to All the Sudanese in the UK especially those who have children - it gives them a good chance to see positive images of Sudan

A British friend went to this exhibition and said it was exellent - he knew more about the Sudan than me when he came back.

I would have sent this myself to your page however I do not know how to do it yet! All the best - I am a frequent guest and greatly enjoy your website

International exhibition at The Bowes Museum
Sudan: Ancient Treasures
12 March – 30 October 2005

The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, continues its series of major exhibitions with Sudan: Ancient Treasures. This fascinating archaeological exhibition visits The Bowes Museum before leaving the country.

Sudan: Ancient Treasures is the result of a long-term collaboration between the British Museum and the Sudan National Museum in Khartoum, to bring some of its finest treasures to Britain. The exhibition was shown in London to great acclaim.

As a result of the British Museum’s successful Partnership UK project, the exhibition will be travelling to the North of England, to be shown at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, from 12th March until 30th October 2005.

Sudan is the largest country in Africa and for centuries, has been an important link between Central Africa and the Mediterranean yet its complicated history, rich cultural heritage and archaeology remains relatively little known to the modern world.

Many of the objects in the exhibition are being exhibited outside Sudan for the first time. Several have been recently excavated and are the products of ongoing archaeological research in the country. Produced during all phases of human settlement, from the Palaeolithic 200,000 years ago, through to the Christian and Islamic periods, their craftsmanship and beauty is indicative of the vibrant and very sophisticated cultures that have flourished in the Nile Valley and deserts beyond.

The exhibition highlights a selection of some of the finest Sudanese antiquities from massive stone sculptures to small, exquisitely-crafted gold jewellery, domestic items and religious icons. Upon entering the museum, visitors will encounter the might of the Kushite state, one that conquered and ruled Egypt during the 7th c BC, embodied in two huge stone lions that once guarded a water source and temple in this ancient kingdom. One of the most striking exhibits is a superb statuette of a Kushite king (3rd c BC-3rd c AD) , with remains of the rich gold leaf which once completely covered the statue, still evident.

Without the work of archaeologists from the British Museum working alongside colleagues at the Sudan National Museum, many of these fascinating objects would not have come to light. Further rescue work is ongoing in Sudan to save archaeological sites threatened by the construction of a new dam which will flood 170 kilometres of the Nile Valley by 2008.

Director of The Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins comments: “This exhibition, a celebration of the country’s rich social and cultural heritage, is an opportunity to broaden our current understanding of this complicated region. In recent months, the news from Sudan has been tragic and devastating but by bringing the exhibition to the North of England, far greater numbers of people will have an opportunity to see it and to gain a greater understanding of the Sudan of today”.

The exhibition also draws attention to the Sudan Archive at The University of Durham. This archive is the largest one outside Sudan and contains documents and photographs relating to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Sudan.

As a way of contributing to the country’s future, visitors will be encouraged to leave a donation for relief in Darfur in boxes located in the exhibition.

The Bowes Museum is running a programme of public events alongside the exhibition which include education activities for schools, talks and family days and a full colour catalogue edited by the exhibition curators, Derek Welsby and Julie Anderson, will be available to purchase, along with a souvenir guide entitled Treasures from Sudan, showing highlights of the exhibition.

For more information on the exhibition and related events call 01833 690606 for your free programme or visit The exhibition is open daily 11.00 until 5.00.

- ENDS -

Editor's Note:

Normal Museum admission: Adults £7.00, Concessions £6.00, Children Free (under 16s). Admission allows access to all exhibitions and permanent displays.
Running concurrently with Sudan: Ancient Treasures is Boucher: Landscapes until 28 March, Norman Parkinson: Portraits in Fashion until 5 June, Raphael: Madonna of the Pinks from 16 April until 26 June and Sense & Sensibility: Cotman: Watercolours of Durham and Yorkshire from 7 May until 31 July.
The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes. Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods.
For general enquiries visit or telephone 01833 690606

Image: Gilded Statuette of a Kushite King from Tabo, Sudan. Copper alloy, plaster and gold leaf. Kushite (Meroitic). Photograph Rocco Ricci. © Sudan National Museum.

For digital images, filming opportunities and more information, please contact:

Rachel Scott
Marketing Officer
The Bowes Museum
T: 01833 694600
F: 01833 637163
[email protected]

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