Closure of museum and transfer of collections

The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum (BECM) is now closed, and in Spring 2012 the collections transferred to Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives Service (now Bristol Culture), part of Bristol City Council.

The transfer took place following a review of the planned move of BECM to London. The conclusion of the review was that the transfer was no longer viable – due to major changes in economic circumstances – and should not be progressed. The BECM trustees therefore looked to secure an alternative home for the museum’s outstanding collection, and began discussions with Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives Service, with a view to it taking ownership.

The transfer of ownership by Deed of Gift to the City has enabled the collections to be retained in Bristol and become an integral part of BMGA’s priorities for research, education and public display.

Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives is one of the most highly visited regional services in the UK. In 2014/15 it achieved 1 million visits. The World Culture Collections are pre-eminent and are of international and national importance. The BECM collection will complement these collections and enable a wider opportunity for visitors to explore the world at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

For further information contact the Learning team at Bristol Culture.

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