The Roman Museum in Canterbury

Canterbury’s museums and galleries will reopen later this month with a busy schedule of activities, including a new exhibition showcasing artwork by young refugees and asylum seekers.

The Roman Museum gets back up and running on Monday 17 May, with the Beaney following a day later. Pre-booking online is recommended for both venues and Covid safety measures such as one-way systems, social distance markings and reduced capacity will be in place.

At the Beaney, there are two new exhibitions for visitors to enjoy. ‘Better Together’, in the Drawing Room gallery, is a collaboration between Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) and Kent artist Rhiannon Archard featuring works by children and young people who are refugees or seeking asylum.

The ‘Better Together’ theme was chosen to highlight the positive influence and sense of community that has been nurtured by KRAN. Through a number of workshops, the children and young people have experimented with different creative processes, and the exhibition presents the outcome of their hard work.

Meanwhile, in the Front Room, recent significant work from artist Paul Coldwell will be on show. He has been working closely with the Freud Museums in London and Vienna to explore ideas of presence and absence.

Also new to the museum is the Beaney Bingo game to help visitors explore in a whole new way. Simply collect a free bingo card on arrival and find hidden gems dotted around the Beaney’s collection using the clues and viewfinder, challenging friends and family along the way.

And preparations are continuing for a major exhibition opening on Saturday 29 May – ‘Saint Thomas Becket – World Celebrity Healer’ – which commemorates the remarkable life and death of Thomas Becket.

At the Roman Museum, a new audio tour app will be available for visitors to download free of charge and the brilliant interactive BEAM! projector will be in action. And in the May half term holiday, children will be able to visit free of charge.

Canterbury City Council’s lead councillor for culture, Cllr Joe Howes, said: “We’re very excited to be throwing open the doors of our museums once again and can’t wait to welcome visitors back.

“Staff have been working really hard during the closure to come up with a busy and varied programme of events, exhibitions and activities for all the family to enjoy in the months ahead.

“Our venues are safe places to be, so please come and see us and let us inspire you in a way that only museums can.”

Cllr Joe Howes

For more details on pre-booking, exhibitions, facilities and Covid safety measures, go to the Beaney and Roman Museum websites. All the Beaney exhibitions have free entry, with donations encouraged.

By Ed