The Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA) is set to reopen in Bath on Saturday 5 May, with an exhibition reflecting on health and wellbeing to mark the institution’s 25th anniversary.
However, the Guardian revealed that the reopening is bitter-sweet, after the museum was broken into in April and priceless jade and gold artefacts were stolen. The room which was broken into will remain closed.
The thieves targeted specific displays, and left others, which has led the museum’s team and the police to believe it was a carefully planned operation.
Visitors will still have plenty to enjoy on a visit to the museum though, with the exhibition: A Quest for Wellness showcasing Zhang Yanzi’s work on the concept of wellness.
Among the pieces by the Chinese artist that will be on display are a bathrobe decorated with tablets that were donated to her by her friends, and gauze bandages that have been moulded into the shape of mountains.
Liberal Democrat MP for Bath Wera Hobhouse told the newspaper that there should be support for small museums such as the MEAA in the area and that it’s important to make such establishments feel secure.
“Bath is a city with lots of small museums. They help our city thrive. They are one of the reasons so many come here,” she stated.
One of the challenges for small museums can be ensuring that they have suitable display cases to host varied exhibits, particularly if they welcome items on loan. Arranging display case hire may therefore be a cost-effective way to showcase unusually shaped or sized items.
The MEAA is currently fundraising to help it improve the displays that were damaged in the burglary and upgrade the current exhibition space.