STAFF at Oxford’s Ashmolean have revealed an even bigger scheme is on the horizon after 9,000 people visited their new Ancient Egypt galleries at the weekend.

The £5m galleries showcasing the museum’s world famous collection opened to the public on Saturday.

But it has emerged that no end is in sight of the multi-million pound expansion of the museum in Beaumont Street.

Plans are being drawn up to create a three floor building in a courtyard behind the newly-opened galleries of Ancient Egypt and Nubia.

It would create three new galleries that would display Dutch and Flemish art from the 17th century; a rotating display from the Western Art Print Room; and a rotating display of 20th and 21st century contemporary art.

It would represent the third phase of the redevelopment of the Ashmolean, following on from the £61m refurbishment opened two years ago, which saw 39 new galleries created and the museum’s display area doubled.

Ashmolean spokesman Susie Gault said: “The new galleries would be created in the West Wing. It would involve building three new galleries, on top of each other, in the present site of an internal courtyard.

“The space would measure approximately 800 sq m, which is larger than the 685 sq m space of the Egypt galleries. Plans will get underway once we have gained support. We are in conversation with a number of people at the moment.”

The Ashmolean is determined to build on recent success, which has seen it included in the top 20 free visitor attractions in England.

The six new galleries for the collections of Ancient Egypt and Nubia (Sudan) was opened on Friday by Minister of Culture and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey. The galleries allow the museum to display objects kept in storage for decades with the number of mummies and coffins on display more than doubled.