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In October 2012 we announced a programme of educational and outreach activities centring on the Lansdowne Relief. In addition to public lectures we organised a number of in-gallery talks, hands-on workshops and other events, several of which were led by our energetic volunteers. The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum played a major part, not only running two of the most popular in-gallery events families and young visitors (February 12 and March 2, 2013) but also training other volunteers including some of our work experience students during winter 2012-13.

We were also very fortunate to have the opportunity to host a number of events for special groups of the public together with the help of the Education Department. These events included two combined in-gallery and studio sessions, for Young Carers and young people during April on stone carving in antiquity as well as a session organized in collaboration with the Dementia Compass organization.

The four lunch time lectures, organised between February and April 2013, were delivered by our own specialist curators and conservators in the Fitzwilliam as well as external academics and explored a variety of subjects, ranging from the technology and restoration of the Lansdowne Relief (Margreta Sonnenwald and Julie Dawson, 27 February), to the use of sculpture at Hadrian’s Villa (Dr Sally-Ann Ashton, 27 March) and the history of the Lansdowne Relief since its arrival in England (Dr Lucilla Burn, 10 April). Finally, Professor James Whitley analysed the use of sea-related mythological subjects in Ancient Greece and Rome in his talk titled ‘The Lansdowne Relief and the Longue Durée of Maritime Entanglements’ (March 13). All these lectures promoted our visitors’ interest in the Relief as well as in Hadrianic sculpture in general and prompted a lot of interesting conversations in the Greek and Roman Gallery.

We are delighted to close our Lansdowne Relief events programme with the launch of a competition to commission two pieces of stone carving work for museum outreach purposes. With these models we hope to be able to explain to the public exactly what stages are involved in transforming a square block of stone into a Lansdowne Relief!

A view from Hadrian’s Villa: Island Rooms (Maritime theatre, view from south)

A view from Hadrian’s Villa: Island Rooms (Maritime theatre, view from south)