Crossings: Community and Refuge

A touring show from the British Museum

A poignant display of objects telling the stories of fleeing refugees

FREE to enter

Exploring questions of identity, belonging and sharing our world, this British Museum Spotlight Loan Crossings: Community and  Refuge will be in Ipswich Museum from 11th March to 12th June 2022. The show will include the Lampedusa Cross together with poignant boat artwork around the UK for the first time.

Made from the remnants of a refugee boat wrecked near the Italian island of Lampedusa, the cross carries messages about kindness, community and the indifference faced by many refugees.

In October 2013, an overcrowded boat carrying migrants from Somalia and Eritrea caught fire, capsized and sank near Lampedusa, close to the coast of Tunisia. 311 lives, fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in Europe were lost. Moved by the plight of survivors, the island’s carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, made crosses from the wreckage. These signified salvation from the sea, hope for the future and the fate of many migrants.

Alongside the Cross will be a display of 12 tiny boats from, Syrian-born Issam Kourbaj’s series Dark Water, Burning World. Made from repurposed bicycle mudguards tightly packed with burnt matches, the artwork represents the fragile vessels used by refugees to make their perilous voyages as a response to the ongoing tragedy in Syria.


Ipswich Museum, High Street, Ipswich, IP1 3QH


Ipswich Museum


11/03/2022 - 12/06/2022