21st May 2018
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Final preparations made for Gunnister Man exhibition

From left, textile conservationist Lynn Maclean, Ian Tait of Shetland Museum and George Dalgleish, principal curator of Scottish history, National Museums of Scotland. Click on image to enlarge.

From left, textile conservationist Lynn Maclean, Ian Tait of Shetland Museum and George Dalgleish, principal curator of Scottish history, National Museums of Scotland. Click on image to enlarge.

An exhibition of the artefacts which belonged to the Gunnister Man, whose remains were discovered in a peat hill in Gunnister, Northmavine, in May 1951, opens on Saturday at Shetland Museum and Archives.

This is the first time the artefacts, which are normally housed at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, have been displayed in Shetland since their discovery. The Gunnister Man is believed to have died around 1700. The loan is down to an agreement between Shetland Amenity Trust and National Museums Scotland.

George Dalgliesh, principal curator of Scottish history within the Scotland and Europe department of the National Museum of Scotland, who has been installing the exhibition at the museum, said of the display: “It’s brilliant; I’m delighted to have the exhibition in Shetland. It’s a good example of the partnership between Shetland Amenity Trust and the National Museum. Last year we had St Ninian’s Isle treasure and now we have the Gunnister Man exhibition.”

He said the findings, which include clothing, a knitted purse and coins, were of “national and international importance” and praised the work of the Shetland museum in its efforts to host the exhibition.

To celebrate the homecoming of the Gunnister Man items, a conference is being held on the 19th September which will explore the mystery surrounding the man. This is now sold out, however a series of talks on the Gunnister Man and tours of the museum are planned for September and October.

These include talks from Amy Lightfoot, who created replicas of the Gunnister man’s personal items, on the 20th September; Carol Christiansen of the museum, who was lead curator on the replication project, exhibiton and conference and whose talk will take place on October 15th, and a Gunnister Man Day on the 24th October to celebrate all things “Gunnister”.

More information can be found at the Museum or at www.shetland-museum.org.uk/events.

The Gunnister Man exhibition, which is free to the public, will run from Saturday until 1st November.

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