A group of Caymanians and Cayman students living in the United Kingdom visited the British Museum in London on a VIP tour to explore some behind-the-scenes collections of items relating to the Cayman Islands.
The tour, organised by Cayman Connection UK and hosted by the Cayman Government Office in the U.K., focussed on the history of currency and identity, and explored how the Cayman Islands currency showcases the identity of the country and its people through history.
The group went on a private Cayman tour of the museum’s Money Gallery, which displays the history of money around the world, from the earliest evidence to the latest developments in digital technology, showcasing how money can be used as a way to understand the history of the world, the identity of countries and how they choose to design their currencies. Kayte McSweeney, head of community partnerships for the museum, led the tour.
The group was then taken to a private session with the British Museum’s Modern Money curator Thomas Hockenhull who presented money collections, including historic notes and coins from the region for discussion.
“These partnerships are particularly important for the British Museum as we are able to focus on our collections, review any gaps we have and ask communities for further insight into those collections,” Hockenhull said.
“When we were contacted by CCUK, I was able to review our Cayman collection and have since ordered more historic bank notes to complete the collection, I have also further researched how we can continue to improve our collections.”
CCUK co-founder Kate Kandiah said in a press release about the museum visit, “It is fascinating to see how Cayman is presented in cultural institutions in the U.K. and we find that more often than not these institutions welcome our input to their collections.
This is the start of what we are calling our ‘CCUK cultural rampage’ around the U.K., to discover how the Cayman Islands is being presented in museums across the country.
“These partnerships with museums and institutions are invaluable to us to get an insider view into behind-the-scenes collections, and we are very grateful to the British Museum for taking the time to show us their Cayman artifacts and for their enthusiasm talking to us about our views.”
CCUK is planning other cultural tours, including a visit to the Houses of Parliament and the Zoological Museum. Other upcoming events include a Cayman-themed pub quiz in April and an Annual Reception in Cayman at the Governor’s Residence in August.