Fire engulfs museum in south London
Cuming Museum's ethnography and local history collection at risk
By Javier Pes. Web only
Published online: 25 March 2013
Fire threatens the Cuming Museum in Walworth, south London, home to artefacts from all around the world, including objects from Roman London, Chinese ornaments and African tribal costumes. Founded in 1906, it contains the Cuming family's private collection as well as the Lovett collection of London superstitions, archaeology and social history telling the story of the development of Southwark. The fire broke out at around noon today (25 March). Around 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines are tackling the blaze in the Victorian-era town hall building, which is also home to a local library.
This is not the first disaster to befall the small museum. It received a direct hit from an incendiary bomb in 1941 during the Second World War.
Update: hundreds of objects are reported to have been saved from the museum's galleries. How many were destroyed or suffered water damage is unknown as the building was still too dangerous to enter two days after the fire.
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