Power of Stories exhibition featured Marvel Black Panther costumes breaks record in Suffolk tour

Click here to watch a report by Hannah Pettifer

It is the film franchise that has broken box office around the world and there is little doubt that the name Marvel will pull in a crowd.

An exhibition on tour around Suffolk is proving to be a case in point.

The Power of Stories features costumes from one of Marvel's biggest hits, Black Panther, and visitor numbers since it opened in Ipswich have turned it into a record-breaker - with organisers believing the near 25,000 people who visited it have made it the county's most popular museum exhibition ever.

As it finishes its run in Bury St Edmunds the costumes have again been the big draw.

Student Sofi Bradshaw said the Power of Stories exhibition had offered something different.

"As a Marvel fan, seeing the costumes surrounded by different items that relate to more black history, it's absolutely amazing. And as someone who doesn't get to experience much diversity in my community, it's even cooler," she said.

The exhibition also features stories from the superheroes of the black community in Suffolk, who helped curate the event, including Elma Glasgow from Aspire Black Suffolk.

She said: "As a result of everyone's involvement, the stories that were portrayed in the Power of Stories [exhibition] are authentic, honest, they come from the heart, and the narratives have actually been written by the black community which is quite a rare thing to see in a museum world."

Phanuel Mutumburi, who is the director of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, is one of those whose story is part of the exhibition.

Phanuel Mutumburi at the 'Power of Stories' exhibition Credit: ITV News Anglia

His story, in a comic-strip format, shows how the council built relationships between different communities in the town - using sport as a shared interest in the early days.

"The starting point was with the football - it was really just people getting together and enjoying themselves and showing we enjoy the same things," he said.

"Coming from the Caribbean, from Africa, India, we enjoy football the same way that people are celebrating Ipswich Town and Manchester United, and it helped connect communities."

Power of Stories has also been used to educate children and students on diversity.

Lecturer Ellisha Soanes said: "We brought in some construction students and they absolutely loved it and a lot of students have not had opportunities to go into museums.

"I think this really opens the door to people to see museums in a different light."

The exhibition has been shortlisted for a museums and heritage award, up against London's V&A and the Natural History Museum.

The Power of Stories can be seen at the Food Museum, formerly the Museum of East Anglian Life, in Stowmarket from next month and then Snape Maltings near Aldeburgh from November.