Saturday, 13 February 2016
It has become something of an annual tradition to visit Two Temple Place, which is only open for a few weeks - and it doesn't seem to matter what the exhibition is, as it's this gem of a building that draws me back. I've often fantasised about sweeping down that wonderful staircase - which was the setting for Lady Rose's Downton wedding. And I've often wondered who does all the dusting? Well, I gave that wonderful staircase the fingertip test this afternoon - and the answer is nobody. Those lovely carved banisters are black with grime and dust. Mrs Hughes would be appalled.
This year's exhibition is all about the Egyptians getting dolled up for the afterlife. I'm not very good with dates BC, but I do know that Predynastic is thousands of years ago - and yet there's a cosmetics palette bearing a little heap of green malachite eye-shadow that Liz Taylor could have worn in the Sixties. I was fascinated by the laundry mark on a mummy wrapping - and the copper mirrors that would have lent a 'divine' golden glow to one's reflection. Because you're worth it.