Striking, isn’t it? Depictions of owls are not uncommon in Leeds, because owls appear on the city’s coat of arms, but I have never seen one like this. The banner is highlighting a relatively new exhibition at the Leeds City Museum entitled “My Leeds My Culture“. To quote from Leeds City Councils website:
“Curated by a local community group ‘Angel of Youths’, the ‘My Leeds My Culture’ display at Leeds City Museum, will launch on 18 October 2014 and run until October 2015 as part of Black History Month celebrations. The display highlights the African Diaspora contribution to Leeds culture through; music, sport, arts, history, faith and fashion“.
Why not pop in and have a look.
To quote from this guide, “Here at Leeds City Museum you will experience a world of discovery. Spread across four floors of interactive and exciting galleries, you will come face to face with the Leeds tiger, step back into ancient worlds and see the final resting place of the Leeds mummy and much, much more“.
I keeps this because it reminds me of the British capacity to adopt things that are not native to our shores; a capacity you don’t hear much about these days (you certainly wont read about it in the tabloid press).
According to a certain on-line encyclopaedia, it was a case of curiosity killed the cat that lead to the death of the Tiger (it was shot because it prowled to close for comfort to an Indian village) and it started its life as an iconic exhibit at the Leeds City Museum as a rug! Now it is such an iconic symbol of Leeds that, when the curator threatened to throw it out, The Yorkshire Post started a petition to save it. Before his death and mummification, Nesyamun was a Priest of The Temple of Karnak, who must have been held in very high regard 3000 years ago, back in Ancient Egypt. Since 1823, Nesyamun has achieved posthumous fame as one of the most studied Ancient Egyptian mummies in Britain and with the destruction of the Museum’s other two mummies in a bombing raid on Leeds in 1941, I suppose Nesyamun took the undisputed mantle of the Leeds Mummy.
An Indian Tiger and an Egyptian Mummy; both indisputably from Leeds.