Arts and Culture
Queue outside University of Manchester

Manchester Museum reopens to huge queues after £15m refurbishment

The long-anticipated reopening of Manchester Museum has been met with huge queues each day this week – with members of the public waiting up to an hour to visit the museum following its £15m revamp.

A Manchester institution, the museum has been closed since June 2021 but its absence has clearly made the heart grow even fonder, as queues stretched far down Oxford Road for a fifth successive day following this weekend’s reopening.

Museum director Esme Ward said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have opened our doors once again, we welcomed over 11,000 visitors during our reopening weekend, which is remarkable.

“Our visitors are what make the museum what it is and it’s not been the same without them – it was such a joy to see the building full of excited faces.

“Transforming a museum is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am incredibly proud of the entire museum team and our partners.”

Wendy Gallagher, Head of Visitor Teams, said:  “The museum is likely to be very busy all week so we are advising people to book free tickets for Golden Mummies of Egypt to guarantee entry to this exhibition.

“When you’re here, please speak to a member of staff if you need some time out and to use a quiet room – we also have ear defenders and mindful activities available at the welcome desk.”

The queue had begun to die down by the time Jen, originally from Seattle but now based in Ratcliffe, arrived with her nine year-old daughter, Sun.

She said: “We were here once before it had been closed down for refurbishment, and the fact it’s been redone means we’d like to see it again – we love this sort of stuff.”

A young girl and her mother and father queueing outside Manchester Museum
Jen and her daughter Sun were excited to see the Mummies of Egypt exhibition

Meanwhile Paul, who had come from Stretford and booked tickets so skipped the queue, said while the Golden Mummies exhibition was well worth seeing, his advice would be to wait for a quieter day.

He said: “It is incredibly busy in there but the refurb is brilliant.

“The exhibition – what you get to see of it while sardine-style! – is absolutely stunning.”

The new Exhibition Hall’s Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibition is undoubtedly the star attraction – the museum is the only UK venue showcasing the exhibition of 18,000 objects from Egypt and Sudan.

Also making a welcome return after a 15-year absence and 10,000 hours of conservation work is April – a 100m-year-old tenontosaurus who joins long-standing crowd-favourite Stan, the T-Rex.

The museum, which is over 130 years old and part of the University of Manchester, houses around 4.5 million objects from natural sciences and human cultures and is open every day except Mondays.

The Golden Mummies exhibition is at Manchester Museum until the end of the year: free tickets can be booked from the museum website.

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