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Oriental Museum Re-opens to the Public

We’re pleased to announce that the Oriental Museum will re-open to the public on Wednesday 19 May 2021, in line with the Government’s planned roadmap out of lockdown, with free entry to visitors. 

The Oriental Museum has been closed to the public since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020. During this time, we have been carrying out improvements and staff have been working tirelessly to ensure we have the necessary safety measures in place to be able to welcome back our visitors. 

Opening with a brand-new exhibition, Lu Xun's Legacy: Print Making in Modern China, you will be required to pre-book a 2-hour timeslot through our online booking system and follow newly implemented safety measures during your visit to ensure the museum remains Covid-secure. The café and shop will remain closed. 

In line with the Government's social contact limits rule of six or two households, there will be a limit of up to a maximum of six per booking. 

 Opening times will be: 

  • Wednesday-Friday between 10am-4pm 

  • Saturday-Sunday between 12pm-4pm 

The museum will remain closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to allow staff to continue their university teaching commitments.  

Bookings are now open for visits the following week – further details can be found at   

Please note, dates for re-opening are subject to change, depending on government restrictions being lifted as outlined in their planned roadmap out of lockdown. 
Thank you for your understanding over the last 12 months and we look forward to welcoming you back. For all enquiries, please email us at 

(11 May 2021)

New Durham-led exhibition opens at Myanmar's most sacred site

A new Durham University exhibition has opened at the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar, the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. 

In the Footsteps of the Buddha’ is a collaboration between Durham University’s UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, the Oriental Museum and the Lumbini Development Trust.

(23 Oct 2019) » More about Myanmar exhibition

Joint Ticketing offer for Botanic Garden and Oriental Museum extended

Visit the Botanic Garden and the Oriental Museum on the same day and save money on your visit. 

(29 Apr 2019) » More about Joint Ticket for the Botanic Garden and Oriental Museum

Oriental Museum curators support new museum project in Nepal

Between January and March 2019 curators from the Oriental Museum worked with colleagues from Durham University and the Government of Nepal to open a new museum at Tilaurakot, site of the ancient city of Kapilavastu, the childhood home of the Buddha. 

(28 Mar 2019) » More about Kapilavastu Museum

Special Joint Ticket Offer with Botanic Garden

Visit the Botanic Garden and the Oriental Museum on the same day during February and March 2019 and save money on your visit. 

(31 Jan 2019) » More about Special Joint Ticket Offer

Funding award for new Silk Road Gallery

The Oriental Museum has been awarded £50,000 by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Wolfson Foundation towards the development of our new Silk Road Gallery.

(30 Jan 2019) » More about Funding for new Silk Road Gallery

New book explores the life of one of the Oriental Museum's most important donors

The fascinating life of a politician, diplomat, collector and former Durham University Chancellor, Rt Hon Malcolm MacDonald, is explored in a new book being launched by the Oriental Museum. 


(6 Dec 2018) » More about the Oriental Museum's new book

Oriental Museum collections on display in Taiwan

A new exhibition based on Durham University research and featuring objects from the Oriental Museum is now open at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in Taiwan.

(18 May 2018) » More about Walking with the Buddha exhibition

New tour highlights the 'hidden women' at the Oriental Museum

In March 2018, the Oriental Museum launched a new tour around the galleries, highlighting the ‘hidden women’ in the museum’s collections. 

(5 Mar 2018) » More about hidden women tour

Agreement signed with National Museum of Japanese History

Durham University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Stuart Corbridge, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Museum of Japanese History (NMJH). This agreement will support a research and engagement partnership between the Oriental Museum and the NMJH. 

(26 Jun 2017) » More about National Museum of Japanese History

Oriental Museum wins Welcome Accolade

For the third year running the Oriental Museum has been awarded VisitEngland's Welcome Accolade, awarded to attractions that give visitors an exceptional welcome. 

(22 Feb 2017) » More about Welcome Accolade

Major investment will expand global access to cultural treasures

The Oriental Museum is one of the Durham University venues which will benefit from new UK government funding awarded to Durham University Museums

(18 Jan 2017) » More about Major investment in museums

CBeebies Teacup Travels

Drop in to the Oriental Museum to see up close the real artefacts that inspired Charlotte’s adventure in “Teacup Travels”; the exciting second series has started on CBeebies. (December 2016)

(6 Dec 2016) » More about Teacup Travels

Ancient Lebanese treasures on display in the UK for first time at Oriental Museum

Historical artefacts never before seen in the UK are go on display at the Oriental Museum from Saturday 18th June 2016.

(4 Jul 2016) » More about Ancient Lebanon exhibition

See Oriental Museum Objects online in 3D

The Oriental Museum has begun to make 3D models of some of its collections available online. 

(4 Jul 2016) » More about 3D models online

More than warriors

The role of Japan’s samurai soldiers as patrons and producers of the arts is being showcased in a new exhibition now open at the Oriental Museum.

Museum staff and academics from Durham University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures have worked together to develop the exhibition, The Shogun’s Cultured Warriors, which reflects the latest research into the lives of this warrior elite. 

(10 Jun 2016) » More about New exhibition at the Oriental Museum

Oriental Museum Wins Accolade for Second Time

For the second year running the Oriental Museum has been awarded Visit England's Welcome Accolade.

(15 Mar 2016) » More about Oriental Museum Accolade Win

Ancient Egyptian treasures back on display

On Friday 26th February the Oriental Museum is reopening the gallery which houses the highlights of its world famous Ancient Egyptian collection. 

(1 Mar 2016) » More about New Egypt Gallery

Oriental Museum short listed for People's Choice Award

The Oriental Museum has been shortlisted for 'Best Family Attraction' in this year's ChronicleLive People's Choice Awards. Vote online now. 

(9 Dec 2015) » More about Voting in now open for the ChronicleLive People’s Choice Awards 2015

Oriental Museum objects on loan around the UK and overseas

Objects from the Oriental Museum collections will be on display in London and Manchester this autumn and some objects are even travelling as far as New York 


(26 Oct 2015) » More about Oriental Museum loans

Egyptian gallery closing for refurbishment

The Oriental Museum's Egyptian Art gallery features the highlights of our Ancient Egyptian collections and is a firm favourite with visitors. However, the cases housing these treasures are now outdated. From 3rd August 2015 the gallery will close for a seven-month refurbishment. 

(20 Jul 2015) » More about Egyptian gallery temporary closure

Durham University receives a copy of the Qianlong Emperor's Library

Durham University has been presented with a copy of the Qianlong Emperor's library, in recognition of Durham’s position as a leading centre of excellence in Chinese Studies.

(29 Jun 2015) » More about Qianlong Emperor's library

Oriental Museum receives accolade for excellent customer service

The Oriental Museum has become one of only a small number of visitor attractions in the country to have received the VisitEngland Welcome accolade.

(17 Feb 2015) » More about Museum wins customer service accolade

New gallery for Himalayas, South Asia and Southeast Asia

In February 2015 the Oriental Museum opened a brand new gallery devoted to the museum’s Himalayan, Indian and Southeast Asian collections

(13 Feb 2015) » More about new gallery opening

Oriental Museum wins award for working with children

Oriental Museum has receivedthe Investing in Children Award in
recognition of the creative ways in which staff engage with children and youngpeople. The award was presented to
the museum by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon. 

(28 Oct 2014) » More about Award for working with children