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Museums loans items to Paris exhibition

Wednesday 17th December 2014

Artefacts from Maidstone Museum are on their way to Paris.

This winter, some of the museum’s internationally significant items will feature in an exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris.

Until February 1, nine items from the Brenchley collection will be on display in the museum, on the left bank of the Seine close to the Eiffel Tower.

The exhibits are from the Julius Brenchley ethnography collection and were collected in the mid-1860s by Julius Brenchley, an explorer and naturalist from Maidstone, who donated his private collection to the museum. They are among the earliest pieces in the world to represent the culture and craftwork of the Solomon Islands at that time.

The exhibition is entitled ‘L’eclat des ombres, l’art en noir et blanc des iles de Salomon’ - The brilliance of the shadows, black and white art of the Solomon Isles.’

The loan highlights the quality and importance of Maidstone Museum’s collections. The Musée du quai Branly, a museum dedicated to ethnography, was launched in 2006 with UNESCO backing.

Maidstone Council’s cabinet member for economic and commercial development, Cllr Malcolm Greer, said: “We are delighted to be able to loan some of our precious artefacts from the excellent Brenchley collection to the Musée du quai Branly for their exhibition. The loan is testament to the quality and importance of Maidstone Museum’s collections at an international level. We often take for granted what is on our doorsteps, but it is at moments like this that Maidstone takes its place on the world stage.”