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Barts Pathology Museum shortlisted for top culture award

Barts Pathology Museum at Queen Mary University of London has reached the final of the prestigious Museums and Heritage Awards 2014.

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Barts Pathology Museum, West Smithfield
Barts Pathology Museum, West Smithfield

The Victorian medical-humanities hub, which is only able to open to the public for special evening and weekend events, received more public votes than some 350 other cultural institutions.

The Museum now faces another public vote, alongside four other venues on the ‘most inspiring’ museum or heritage visitor attraction shortlist. The category is sponsored by the Guardian’s Culture Professionals Network and celebrates good public engagement practice in the museums sector.

Carla Valentine, the Museum’s technical curator and only full-time member of staff, began holding public events in February 2012, assisted by Learning Resources and Facilities Manager Steve Moore and a small team of volunteers.

Highlights of the past year include a 1920s silent film season, a performance by a Victorian strongman, lectures on sexually transmitted diseases, serial killers, Victorian mourning rituals, Chopin, and Sherlock Holmes, and a series of hugely popular taxidermy and themed drawing classes.

In April the Museum hosts Death Salon UK – a three day conference investigating mortality and mourning, opening up dialogue on topics such as funeral costs, natural burial, organ donation and dissection in medical schools.

The beautiful Grade II listed building houses over 5,000 medical specimens. It spans three mezzanine levels and includes pathological pots relating to all areas of anatomy and physiology, including the skull of John Bellingham, who assassinated Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in 1812.

Designed by the architect Edward I’Anson, the museum was opened in 1879 by the future Edward VII and proved a valuable resource for medical students. It gradually fell into disuse following the opening of a new pathology department in 1909 and the building of clinical skills teaching rooms in the 1970s.

Please email Carla Valentine on if you would like to be added to the museum's mailing list. You can also follow the Museum on Twitter: @BartsPathology and Facebook

To vote, visit the Museums and Heritage Awards website. Voting closes on Friday 11 April and the results will be announced at an awards ceremony in May.

For media information, contact:

Rupert Marquand
Media Relations Manager
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