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Dorchester Museum Night Returns!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 Dorset County Museum

Just as Ben Stiller’s Hollywood blockbuster Night at the Museum spawned an equally successful sequel Night at the Museum II: Battle of the Smithsonian, Dorchester’s own Museum Night has also returned by popular demand for a second outing in 2011.

For those who didn’t go last year, Museum Night is an initiative to promote Dorchester museums, and gives families and individuals the opportunity to visit a variety of different venues from 5pm to 9pm for just £6. The event takes place on Saturday 14th May, and there are no fewer than six participating museums:

  • The Keep Military Museum
  • Dorset County Museum
  • The Teddy Bear Museum
  • The Tutankhamun Exhibition
  • The  Terracotta Warriors Exhibition
  • The Dinosaur Museum

Not only that, but this year’s Museum Night also includes the Roman Town House!

So what is there to see?

Keep Military Museum

Ever wondered what Hitler’s desk looked like? Well wonder no longer, because it’s right here in Dorchester, inside the Keep Military Museum! If you’re curious about the Fuhrer’s taste in furniture, and intrigued as to what he kept in his desk drawers, May 14th is your chance to find out for yourself. This strange artefact was recovered from the ruins of the Chancellory in Berlin in 1945 by the Dorsetshire Regiment, and now resides on the first floor of the museum.

The Tutankhamun Exhibition takes you a bit further back in time, to one of the most famous moments in the history of archaeology – the moment in 1922 when Howard Carter and Lord Canarvon chiselled the first hole into the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun, which had been untouched for thousands of years.

“Can you see anything?” Canarvon asked Carter as he peered into the hole. “Yes” he replied “Wonderful things!”

Tutankhamun Exhibition

This magical scene is recreated at the exhibition in Dorchester, and so too are many of the “wonderful things” that so entranced Carter and his team of archaeologists. Everything is replicated to the greatest possible level of authenticity, right down to the smells in the exhibition’s replica tomb, which were formulated using samples from aromatic oils found in the real tomb in Egypt.

If you feel like something a bit more quirky and whimsical, there is the Teddy Bear Museum, a collection of teddy bears spanning more than one hundred years.

When you step inside the museum, you enter the home of Edward Bear and his human-sized bear family. You will find the Bear family relaxing around their home with their extensive collection of more conventionally sized teddy bears.

Teddy Bear Museum

It’s an enchanting and nostalgic experience, and for those of you wanting to take something home with you, there is also a charming period gift shop full of hundred of bears waiting to tempt you!

Museum Night tickets are available now from the Dorchester Tourist Information Centre or any of the participating museums. Family tickets bought in advance will be £6, which covers up to two adults and four children. Tickets bought on the night itself will be £10.

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