Social spotlight for Leeds’ hidden treasures

Lynne Crispin, visitor assistant at Temple Newsam House, Leeds, in the Chinese Drawing Room.
Lynne Crispin, visitor assistant at Temple Newsam House, Leeds, in the Chinese Drawing Room.
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It’s not every day you get the chance to watch someone spruce up a stuffed polar bear or clean a Victorian street.

But now the weird and wonderful things that happen behind the scenes every day in museums across Leeds will give the city something to Tweet about.

In a special social media showcase the work of the museum’s staff will be beamed to a global audience to show how they protect and preserve the city’s proud history.

Leeds will be picking up the baton from previous participants including The Getty in Los Angeles, the State Historical Museum in Moscow, and Italy’s Massaciuccoli Romana.

Starting on Monday, Leeds Museums and Galleries digital team will be taking over the worldwide @52Museums Instagram account and sharing photos of some of the projects and exhibits that curators and staff have been working on with users across the globe.

The @52Museums initiative sees a different museum from across the world running the account each week throughout the year.

Exhibits in the spotlight will include Leeds City Museum’s 200 year-old stuffed polar bear, which was a major exhibition when it was first brought to Leeds in 1828 by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society and which was cleaned up at the Leeds Discovery Centre.

Kirkstall’s Abbey House Museum will be featured in posts about their new Crime and Punishment exhibition, which includes a selection of artefacts exploring how crime, policing and justice have evolved through the centuries..

And Temple Newsam House will be posting about their beautiful Chinese Drawing Room, decorated with what was just last week dubbed “the world’s most expensive wallpaper.”

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “We have an extraordinary array of exhibitions and artefacts spread across our sites and this is a brilliant opportunity to showcase them to social media users around the world.

“It’s exciting to think that history-lovers in other countries will get the chance to learn a bit about Leeds.”