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rearrangement of the collections themselves as would greatly Book in, increase the public facilities of access and study, none Reconbetter deserves the attention of the reader than that which "^"pao" was submitted in the first instance to the Trustees of the TMCT0MBritish Museum, and subsequently to Parliament (in 1860) by Mr. Edmund Oldfikld, then a Senior Assistant in the Department of Antiquities, entrusted (in succession to Mr. C. T. Newton, on his proceeding to Greece) with the charge of the Greek and Roman Galleries. By this plan it is proposed to erect on the west side of the Museum a new range of Galleries for Greek and Roman Antiquities. The facade in Charlotte Street—prolonged to the house No. 4 in Bedford Square—would extend to about 440 feet in length, with an usual depth of 140, increased at the southern extremity to 190 feet. This new range would provide for the whole of the present Greek, Roman, Phoenician, and Etruscan Antiquities, and for considerable augmentations. To Assyrian Antiquities would be assigned the present Elgin Gallery, the 'Mausoleum Room,' and the 'Hellenic Room,' together with two other rooms—gained in part by new adaptations of space comprised within the existing buildings. The rooms now devoted to the Antiquities of Kouyunjik and Nimroud would then be applied to the M». reception of Egyptian Antiquities, together with a room to Ph""ct°* be constructed on the site of the present principal staircase. *TM£10„ The Lycian Gallery would retain its site, with an enlarge- °*TKK ment westward. I quote Mr. Oldfield's own descriptive °' Antkjuiaccount of his project, in full, from the Appendix to the asss-isoo). Minutes of Evidence of 1860.
I. Entrance Hall.—On the north side is a staircase, such as suggested Emthakcb by Mr. Panizzi, forming the access to the galleries of Natural History. Hall.
II. Room for the first reception, unpacking, and examination of sculp. Private tures, the consideration of such as are offered for purchase, the cleaning Rool< *0K
8CCLPTCBKS. Book III, Chap. VII. ReconStruct© Ha And PROJECTORS.
Oldfield's Project Of ReconStruction (1858-1860)— continued.
and repairing of marbles and mosaics, and storing of pedestals, mason'a apparatus, and machinery, &c.
III. First Egyptian Room.—The present two staircases, and the wall at the east end of the Assyrian Transept being removed, a handsome entrance would be obtained to the galleries of Antiquities. The room would be about seventy-six feet by thirty-five, and though not very well lighted, might suffice for the monuments of the first twelve dynasties of Egypt, at present in the northern vestibule and lobby, which have no very artistic character.
IV. Second Egyptian Room.—The monuments of the Eighteenth Dynasty would here commence. Terminating the vista from the north would be the head of Thothmes III, more advantageously seen than in its present position, where it stands in front of a doorway, and exposed to a cross light.
V. Third Egyptian Room.—For smaller remains of the same period. The alcoves should be removed, and a door opened on the north side.
VI. Fourth Egyptian Room.—To remedy the darkness of this room, an opening should be made in the ceiling, inclosed by a balustrade in the room above (v. Plan of Upper Floor), and covered with glass; whilst the roof of this upper room should be lightened, at least in the central compartment, by substituting glass for its present heavy ceiling'. The small space thus sacrificed in the floor of the upper room would be a less serious loss than the virtual uselessness of so large an apartment below. With the proposed improvement in the lighting, the Fourth Egyptian Room would be well adapted for the colossal monuments of Amenophis III; without it, the room could hardly serve for any purpose but a passage.
VII. Fifth Egyptian Room.—In the middle would be arranged, in two rows, the remaining sculptures of the Eighteenth and part of those of the Nineteenth Dynasty. In the recesses between the pilasters might be fixed wall cases, which would rather improve than impair the architectural effect of the room, and for which the light is well adapted, the rays from the opposite windows striking sufficiently low to obviate the shadow occasioned by shelves in rooms lighted from above. Such cases would contain small objects from the Egyptian collection now on the Upper Floor.
VIII. Sixth Egyptian Room.—This room, originally ill lighted, has been further darkened by the new Reading Room, erected within a few yards of its windows. If, however, an opening were made in the ceiling (as proposed for Room VI, and if the roof of the room above were somewhat modified, light might be thrown both on the magnificent bust of Rameses II and on the east wall of the room. The middle window in that wall, which furnishes no available light, might then be blocked up; and before it might stand the cast from the head of the colossus at Abousimbnl, now placed over a door in the northern vesti- Book itr, bule, but which ought, in any re-arrangement, to be united with the R^j11' other monuments of Rameses II, and which would finely terminate the 8TEUCT0Ea vista, looking from the west. And Peo
IX. Seventh Egyptian Boom.—Here would be the sculptures, both of ,ECTOESthe native dynasties posterior to the Nineteenth, and of the Ptolemaic Mh.
and Roman periods, which at present occupy the southern Egyptian pj""""* Gallery. In the recesses between the pilasters might be wall cases. Recon
X. Eighth Egyptian Boom.—This, and the two succeeding rooms, Structiok would be appropriated to smaller Egyptian remains. The light on the <1858-l8M).i— western side of these rooms falls so nearly vertically, from the overshadowing mass of building adjoining, that wall cases would have their 1*TM^ contents completely thrown into shade by the shelves, or by the tops of Room. the cases. Objects in the middle of the room, on the other hand, would El0HTH
be in uninterrupted light. It is, therefore, proposed to place against Egvptiak the walls inscribed tablets, which are best seen under an acutely striking Rooflight; painted plaster friezes, which, from their strong colours and coarse execution, do not require much light; and framed papyri, which are liable to injury from exposure to powerful light. Along the centre of the room would be arranged mummies, and mummy cases, in glass frames, with table cases for scarabsei, and other small objects, which are most conveniently exhibited on flat or sloping surfaces.
XI. Ninth Egyptian Boom.—The thoroughfare is here too great for Ninth objects to be conveniently arranged in the centre; but the walls might Eovpiian be occupied as in the preceding room. "*'
XII. Tenth Egyptian Boom.—To be arranged similarly to the tenth
. "' Egyptian
Eighth. noo,,. Summary of the Accommodation provided in the plan for Egyptian „
r r StHHART OV
Antiquities :— ACCOMMO
1. The large sculptures would gain Rooms III, IV, and VI, in lieu Dation ron of the northern vestibule. An"""
2. The inscribed tablets, which at present occupy the recesses of X1E9Rooms VII, VIII, IX, containing four hundred and twenty-two linear feet of wall space, and the walls of the northern vestibule, containing about eighty feet, or altogether about five hundred and two feet, would share with the framed papyri and painted plaster friezes the walls of Rooms III, IV, V, VI, VIII, X, XI, XII, containing altogether about nine hundred and sixty feet.
3. The mummies, overcrowded in a room containing two thousand and fourteen square feet of available open space, and the coffins in the present 'Egyptian Ante-room,' would be arranged, with several table cases, in Rooms X and XII, containing altogether about four thousand and eighty square feet.
4. The small objects, now in wall cases extending to two hundred and
Boox III, Chap. VII. ReconStructors And ProJectors.
Old Field's Project Oe ReconStruction (1858-1860)— continued.
thirty-Beven feet of linear measurement, and in three table cases, would be arranged in wall cases, extending to three hundred and eighty-three feet, and in several table cases, of which the exact extent cannot be fixed.
The additional space here provided for large Egyptian sculptures is not so much needed for the present as is the case in some other series; but the greater comparative difficulty of moving objects so bulky makes it advisable to secure, as far as possible, the permanence of any rearrangement, by leaving room for the probable incorporations of future years. The accommodation provided for smaller objects is little more than they already require for advantageous display.
XIII. First Assyrian or Nimroud Boom.—This room, on the site of the basement-room, would be formed by demolishing the small room, with the adjoining students' room and staircase; by extending over their site the glass roof of room; by throwing a floor, on a continuous level with those of the adjoining galleries, and supported upon iron pillars, over so much of room as is coloured brown in the plan; and by carrying up thin partitions from this floor to the glass roof, so as to inclose a new apartment. This apartment would, at the south end, extend across the whole breadth of room, but elsewhere it would be limited to a central space, nineteen feet wide, corresponding to the present central compartment of room, so as to leave open an area of ten feet wide on each side. The open areas would serve to light both the whole room below, of which the central portion would be partially obscured by the new structure, and also the rooms in the adjoining basements, which, though no longer used for exhibition, might be serviceable for other subordinate purposes. In one of the open areas might be a private staircase to the basement. Room XIII would be considerably loftier than the present' Nimroud Side Gallery,' and it would contain two thousand nine hundred and seventy superficial feet, and three hundred and fourteen linear feet of wall-space, instead of two thousand one hundred and seventy-six superficial feet, and two hundred and seventyeight feet of wall-space. In this new room would be placed the earliest of the Assyrian monuments, those of Sardanapalus I; at the south end those found in the two small temples at Nimroud, including the colosBal Hon, the arched monolith and altar, and the mythological figures from a doorway; in the northern portion, the sculptures from the North-west Palace at Nimroud, including the small winged lion and bull, now in room.
XIV. Second Assyrian Room.—This would contain a continuation of the series from Nimroud. On the west side the colossal winged lions now in the western compartment of the Assyrian Transept, which would complete the monuments of Sardanapalus I; in other parts of the room, the few but important sculptures of Divanubara, Shammaz-Phal,
and Pul, now somewhat scattered for want of the requisite accommoda- Boo,t nltion in room, but for which there would here be ample space, and an gj*^11' advantageous light. Stxoctobs
XV. A proposed new room, to be entitled the Third Assyrian or *"DP*°Khorsabad Boom, the Assistant-Keeper's study being removed, and accommodation being provided for him elsewhere. The room might be forty-seven feet by forty, about the same height as XIV, and Bimi- pE0JECTOT larly lighted by a central skylight; beneath it would be a basement Recomroom for the uses of the establishment. Room XV would contain, first, "kuctioh the bas-reliefs of Tiglathpileser II from the South-west edifice of Nim- nntmutli roud; and secondly, the Khorsabad collection, or monuments of Sargina, ^ which is next in chronological order to the Nimroud collection. The As8thian two colossal bulls of Sargina are marked in the plan as facing each Roo*. other, an arrangement common at Khorsabad. Deducting space for
the bulls, upwards of eighty linear feet of wall-surface would remain in the room, which is considerably more than the bas-reliefs of Tiglathpileser and Sargina require. The new building would necessarily obscure some of the windows of the adjoining basement, but this is of minor importance; and the evil might be diminished on the western and southern side, by leaving open spaces in the floor behind each of the colossal bulls. Between the bulls would be a passage to
XVI. Fourth Assyrian or Sennaclierib Boom.—Here would be the Fou»tii first part of the collection discovered at Koyunjik, the monuments of Assyrian Sennacherib, now inconveniently divided, and arranged partly in the 'Koyunjik Gallery,' and partly in the 'Assyrian Basement Room.' These monuments consist, almost entirely, of bas-reliefs, extending as at present arranged, to about three hundred and fifty-one feet (two hundred and eight on the ground floor, and one hundred and forty-three in the basement). In a lofty and wide room, however, such
as XVI, an upper row of bas-reliefs might be introduced over many of the smaller slabs, now arranged in a single row only; by this means the sculptures of Sennacherib might all be included on the east, west, and north sides of the room, containing three hundred and seventeen linear feet of wall-space, leaving the south side, or twenty-seven feet, for sculptures of Sardanapalus III, the last monarch of the Assyrian series. In the centre of the room would be glass cases for the numerous tablets, cylinders, and other small objects of this collection, which it is most instructive to exhibit in connection with the sculptures. The only architectural alteration desirable in the room would be to open skylights in the lateral portion of the roof, and to close those in the central, in order to obtain a sharper light, upon the principle so successfully adopted in the present' Nimroud Side Gallery.'
XVII. Fifth Assyrian Boom.—Here would be the continuation Yim of the monuments of Sardanapalus III, which conclude the Assyrian jo*0"1ATM