The ‘Pharaoh: King of Egypt’ exhibition set a precedent in 2012 as Leeds City Museum’s most successful show to date and this Autumn sees Leeds City Museum maintain the momentum by announcing that the Romans are coming from 20 September to 4 January 2015.  Roman Empire: Power & People is a once in a lifetime chance to see this exceptional touring exhibition, which includes some of the greatest treasures from the British Museum’s collections of Roman, Romano-British and Romano-Egyptian artefacts.   Leeds City Museum’s exhibition provides a rare opportunity for visitors to see the British Museum’s objects in Leeds for the first time combined with items from Yorkshire’s own prized collections which will give the exhibition a unique local context.


The team at Leeds City Museum has carefully selected rarely seen Roman items from their collections and secured items from locally renowned museums, to show alongside these extraordinary pieces provided by The British Museum.  The exhibition provides an astonishing showcase of the Romans in Yorkshire, Britain and across the Empire as far afield to the Eastern Mediterranean.


Complementing the exhibition is an extensive schedule of activities and events to appeal to its broad range of visitors. Tots and teens, school groups, students and families, academics and specialists, will gain a well-rounded view of the Romans and their influence.  A series of lectures accompanies the exhibition, on subjects such as Roman finds in Yorkshire, crime and punishment in Roman Britain, hoards of Roman coins, Roman York and new archaeological evidence courtesy of the development of University of York’s new campus.  Peppered liberally throughout the exhibition are audio visuals, interactives and family trails which help bring alive the ideas behind the exhibition and enhance the themes of the power and influence of Rome and the people of the Empire.


Katherine Baxter, Curator of Archaeology at Leeds City Museum says: ‘It is a privilege for us to host this nationally important collection and be British Museum partners.  Being part of this tour means that we again push the boundaries on what we can achieve for our visitors.  We pride ourselves on appealing to a wide audience and these 160 objects from the British Museum will build a picture of life as a Roman, wherever and whoever you were in the Empire.’


‘The exhibition is an abundance of all things Roman which very much reflects our own diverse collections. The exhibition includes the exploration of power, vastness and the might of the Roman Empire and Britain’s place within it, balanced with an insight into the personal lives of the Romans here.  Was being Roman the same for people in Rome as it was for those in Yorkshire? The exhibition will both explore and enlighten.  Beautiful jewellery and near-perfect children’s clothes will be shown alongside a combination of personal, military and religious treasures, among other fascinating materials.  The exhibition has been described as a journey and we’re thrilled with the diversity of the objects on show.  It’s a major exhibition for Leeds and we’re privileged to be able to show these extraordinary items courtesy of the British Museum.’


Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said ‘Following the huge success of the British Museum’s major exhibition ‘Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’ it is clear that the Roman world continues to fascinate and surprise us. I am delighted to collaborate with Leeds City Museum on this exhibition that explores the wider Roman Empire in relation to Yorkshire and the British Isles and that it will be seen in many other regions of the UK.’


Roman Empire: Power & People opens to the public on 20 September until 4 January 2015.  Leeds City Museum is on Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 8BH, and is open every day, except Mondays, (open Bank Holidays) from 10am to 5pm and until 7pm on Thursdays. Weekends 11am to 5pm.