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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Egyptian Curse or Sneaky Curator: The Mysterious Manchester Statue

At the Ministry we do our best to bring you the most important museum news as it happens. That is why we are so surprised that not more people are talking about what has been called 'the curse of the spinning statue' by the illustrious news outfit the Manchester Evening News. MEN seems to be about everywhere on the museum scene these days, when it first broke the (later proved false) account about how MOSI was on the brink of closure. Then today they published shocking footage from the Manchester Museum which appears to show an Egyptian funerary statue spinning in a case.

Check out the original story and the video here:

Everyone freak out! Is this finally what every museum curator ever has been waiting for: a re-animated museum object ala 'Night at the Museum'. Or do we need to get the case of the Mummy on the case to deal with this clearly haunted statue.

I think the real protagonist of the MEN's piece has to be Dr Campbell Price, the Curator of Egypt and the Sudan at the Manchester Museum. In his interview, Price blatantly rejects the more logical theory that the object if moving due to the vibrations of visitors feet. He suggest that the statue has instead been inhabited by a spirit unable to move on.

Is it a coincidence then that Dr. Campbell Price is an expert in Egyptian funerary statuary? Could it be that the statue does not revolve at night because there are no sneaky curators around to slowly move it? Whatever the case, Price is clearly milking the mystery for all it's worth to drive up summer visitor numbers to Manchester's new Ancient Worlds Gallery. (And why not? We certainly want a visit now.)

What do you think? Clever promotional stunt? Actual haunting? Poorly planned floor-loading?

Whatever the cause, the Ministry knows exactly what to do. Remember you heard it here first: stick some plastazote under it. The universal panacea.

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