Decant Day, 7 December 2016: Making more progress with Momart

by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer

We’ve only got a couple weeks left until the decant of the Museum and Art Gallery is due to be completed. Time certainly flies when you’re busy and it only seems like yesterday since we were getting ready to close our building let alone empty it!

Staff and volunteers have been putting in a mammoth effort to make sure this huge task is completed on time. At various stages we’ve also been ably assisted by specialist removal companies and art handlers.

Most recently we had specialist art transportation company Momart with us for a second time. They brought five of their technicians and a technical project manager down from London and were on site with our decant team for five days.

Their main task was to help us pack, wrap and move some of the larger and more complex items from our collections.

One of these was the statue of the Greek herald Talthibyus that usually stands in the Museum and Art Gallery foyer.  Here you can see him safely in his crate and ready to be taken to our offsite store.

A photograph of our Talthibyus statue

Other difficult and heavy objects included the Tudor door frame (pictured below) which previously stood at the entrance to our ‘Plymouth, Port and Place’ gallery.

A photograph of our Tudor door frame wrapped and ready for storage.

Momart also helped us move a number of large paintings and historic frames that our volunteers had already wrapped, plus a huge 3.5m rolled canvas of a portrait of Lady Jane Grey (pictured below).

A photograph of the Lady Grey rolled canvas.

Another significant job was to safely wrap, pack and move our two Ancient Egyptian mummy coffins. Although easy in one respect because they don’t have lots of small individual parts, these iconic objects which originate from the Ancient Egyptian captial of Thebes are both over 2,700 years old and need to be handled with care.

A photograph of the Lady Tairy mummy coffin in the Ancient Egypt gallery

Watching the team at work was really impressive as they wrapped each mummy coffin with acid free tissue paper and polythene and then moved them to bespoke crates ready for transportation.

A photograph of Lady Tairy's mummy coffin being wrapped.

In total Momart worked with us to pack 65 objects and 20 large paintings. They also helped move a further 50 paintings and frames. It was a highly productive week!

We have a couple of really busy weeks to get through now as we head towards our deadline before the Christmas break. We’ll be back in two weeks time with another update about our progress.

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