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Horniman’s World Gallery gets go-ahead

Plans to create a World Gallery at the Horniman have received the green light, thanks to confirmed funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Thousands of objects will tell stories from around the world, celebrating the wonder and complexity of what it means to be human, in the new world-class anthropology gallery opening in 2018.

Alongside this will be a studio, home to a cutting-edge programme of performances and exhibitions inspired by the Horniman’s internationally important collections.

HLF has awarded £3.3m to the project, which will also fund a learning and engagement programme. The Horniman is raising a further £1.4m of funding to complete the project.

Janet Vitmayer, Director of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, says: ‘This grant from HLF will transform our galleries and programmes. We will share exciting new research and build on the Horniman’s leading work in the development of community collaboration, to create programmes that stimulate curiosity and help our diverse audience relate to and engage with some of the many different ways there are of living in our extraordinary world.’

Robert Storrie, Keeper of Anthropology at the Horniman, says: ‘The World Gallery will display more than 3,000 objects from our collections, in a beautiful and joyful space that celebrates human creativity, imagination and adaptability. The displays will show how “things” connect people – practically and emotionally – as well as giving each of us a glimpse into other ways of understanding the world we all share.’

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, says: ‘Already much-loved in South London, the Horniman has an incredible global story to tell. Thanks to National Lottery players this project will enable previously hidden items from the museum’s anthropology collections to be enjoyed for the first time and ensure that people – from our ancestors to today’s visitors – remain at its heart.’