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Published: 15 February 2020

By Andy Ross

Secrets of the Museum

A new series began last week on BBC television. Secrets of the Museum is a behind-the-scenes look at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

This week's episode was very special. It showed the care that needs to be taken when dealing with some of the most precious paintings in the world: the Raphael Cartoons which were original preparations for tapestries, and how delicate some of the items in the Museum's collection of nearly two and a half million objects, including the exquisite statuette of Meleager, really are.

It was, though, the addition of a dress to the House of Worth collection which drew a tear or two. The 1890's dress from the famous fashion house credited with starting haute couture was bought in the USA and shipped back to London where it was unboxed and inspected in front of the cameras. A little while later a special visitor from Sweden came to see the House of Worth collection. Anne-Catherine Worth, Charles Worth's great, great, great grand-daughter travelled to see the family legacy and was genuinely moved by what was displayed. At the end of the episode, Anne-Catherine presented family photographs to the V and A to add to the collection. What a touching vignette to finish off the viewing. 

If you are in the UK or have access to iPlayer here is the link to the episode. If you cannot get access watch out for it wherever you are. A great insight into one of the world's great museums. If you want to see the pieces for yourself you can ask for access by heading over to the website for The Clothworkers' Centre.