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10 October 2003
Seahenge pushes up museum costs

Plans to display half the Holme Henge (also known as Seahenge) timber circle in Lynn Museum (England) have pushed up the cost of the museum's development scheme to 1.2 million. Originally, it was expected to cost between 800,000 and 1 million to re-display the Market Street museum's collections, which include a lot of West Norfolk Bronze Age material.
     But now it has been agreed that all the timbers, which are currently being stored at Flag Fen Bronze Age site, near Peterborough, in chemically-treated water, can be housed at Lynn half of them on permanent display.
     An application for 940,000 is being made to the Heritage Lottery Fund and a bid sought for 80,000 from Norfolk County Council towards the cost of the expanded project. Area museums officer Dr Robin Hanley said: "Including Holme Henge has increased the display costs quite significantly. We are planning to display it well and the plans are exciting and expensive. But with a monument of that international significance we need to ensure that the way we display it is right."
     Although only half the circle would be displayed in the museum, a suitable storage space would be found for the other timbers where people could access them, Dr Hanley said, adding that all the timbers would soon be going to a conservation laboratory to undergo "a very delicate and slow" freeze-drying process, so that they would not need to be displayed behind glass at Lynn Museum.
     The central stump could take up to five years to conserve, so a replica may be needed for the display until it is ready. Lynn Museum hopes for decisions from the Heritage Lottery Fund and county council by April next year, so that work on the project can start next September and be ready to open to the public in September, 2005.

Source: Lynn News (7 October 2003)

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