We've been eagerly awaiting news of the reopening of the numismatic section at the Ashmolean in Oxford. Here's a new article featuring the collection.
The £61m redevelopment at the Ashmolean Museum has made headlines this week, but another money-related story of no less interest can be found at the new building in Oxford.
The museum is also home to a raft of coins ranking among the ten most important monetary collections in the world, containing 300,000 monetary objects which, until now, had been tucked away in a remote vault which visitors dared not enter.
When the museum reopens this weekend many of the coins will have a dedicated gallery, where a bold caption on the wall proclaims money to be "the value of the past".
With displays from ancient Britain as well as India and the Middle East, plus Greek and Roman coinage, it is hoped that gallery seven will be a microcosm of the rest of the museum.
The Heberden Coin Room, as the collection is known, reaches much further into the new museum, since coins are showcased in 25 of the 35 permanent galleries.
"As storytelling items, coins work very well because they contain iconography," says Project Curator David Berry, explaining why such small objects appeal to so many departments.
"It allows us to integrate a part of the collection in a way that is meaningful, not just for the sake of it."
By way of example, Berry highlights a coin which depicts Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. The museum is able to display it beside a sword formerly presented to the king in recognition of his role as defender of the Catholic Faith.
The Ashmolean Museum opens on November 7 2009. Admission free
To read the complete article, see:
World class coin collection shines at Ashmolean
Wayne Homren, Editor
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