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New Treasures Exhibition at the Royal BC Museum is a Gem
A Seated Woman Wearing a Taffeta Dress, By Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954), France, 1938, Charcoal on paper. © The Trustees of the British Museum.

VICTORIA, BC.- Museum-goers embarked on a global journey this morning as the Royal BC Museum (RBCM) opened its doors to the North American premiere of Treasures: The World’s Cultures from the British Museum.

The exhibition, at the RBCM until Sept. 30, 2009, brings together 309 of the most celebrated objects from the renowned British Museum collection and showcases the cultural achievements that define world history.

“The mission of the Royal BC Museum is to inspire wonder and curiosity – and this exhibition does just that,” says RBCM CEO Pauline Rafferty. “By bringing the entire world under one roof, you’ll have a unique opportunity to see what we, as humans, have created for the past one-and-a-half million years. From stunning ancient Egyptian objects to monumental Greek antiquities to thought-provoking contemporary artworks, Treasures has something for everyone.”

A crew of 15 Royal BC Museum carpenters, painters and artists spent five months transforming the 930-square metre (10,000-square foot) exhibition space into a British Museum experience – complete with 33 Greek columns, a hands-on activity zone called the Enlightenment Centre (modelled after the British Museum’s Enlightenment Gallery) and a selection of handling artifacts.

“The Royal BC Museum is a world leader in museology and in the display of cultural and scientific collections,” says British Museum’s Jonathan King, Keeper of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. “It is a great pleasure and privilege for the British Museum Treasures exhibition to be shown here – in a museum Iʹve known and admired for more than thirty years.”

Tickets for Treasures are available in person at the RBCM, online at or by phone through Tourism Victoria at 1-800-663-3883.

This exhibition is proudly supported by a number of organizations, including: London Drugs (Lead Sponsor); Tourism Victoria (Lead Marketing Partner); Canwest (Media Sponsor), which includes Global BC, CHEK News, Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun; and the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program / Avec lʹappui du ministère du Patrimoine canadien par le biais du Programme dʹindemnisation pour les expositions intinérantes au Canada.
As the provincial museum and archives, the Royal BC Museum preserves and shares the stories of British Columbia – on-site, off-site and online – through its research, collections, exhibitions and educational programs. Its two-hectare cultural precinct also includes a number of historically significant buildings and First Nations sites.

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