A new BBC Two series is offering viewers a look behind the scenes at one of London’s most iconic museums – the Victoria and Albert in South Kensington.
The series will consist of six hour-long episodes, looking at some of the artefacts that don’t make it to the display cases at the museum.
Here’s everything you need to know about the series…
What is Secrets of the Museum about?
The documentary goes behind the scenes of the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Only a small amount of the two million items in the V&A’s collection are on display to the public.
This series gets a glimpse at the treasure trove kept behind closed doors and follows the experts and conservators as they breathe new life into some of these fragile items. The second episode of the six-part series follows project manager Alice and her team as they unframe and scan a gallery of 500-year-old masterpieces. You’ll also get a look at the museum’s stunning jewellery galleries, which include a spectacular butterfly ring worn by Beyoncé that appears to take flight with each gentle flex of the finger.
Is there a Radio Times review?
Yes, Radio Times critic Alison Graham provided the following take on the second episode:
Prepare to sigh at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s heavenly constellation of sparkling jewels, which includes Queen Victoria’s coronet and a butterfly ring with flapping wings commissioned by Jay Z for his wife Beyoncé.
In another delightful episode, we accompany conservators as they examine some delicate “trembling” jewellery (flickering bodice ornaments made of diamonds), receive a silk brocade evening gown bought by the V&A sight unseen at a Chicago auction and check gigantic Raphael cartoons for mould.
There are some eye-covering moments as the frames, not touched for 25 years, are VERY carefully removed. And, despite yourself, you’ll be expecting an Only Fools and Horses moment as the entrance hall’s massive chandelier is cleaned.
When is Secrets of the Museum on TV?
The first episode airs Thursday 13th February at 8pm on BBC Two, with subsequent episodes airing at the same time in consecutive weeks.
Each episode will be available to view on BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.