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National Army Museum, London closes on 30 April 2014


Moriaty

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The National Army Museum in Chelsea will close on 30 April 2014 and is scheduled to re-open in Summer 2016.

Its web site says "a range of services, events and activities will still be available during the closure period".

"During the course of this summer the NAM will be delivering an engaging range of outreach and learning activities across the UK to mark the centenary of the First World War. A further programme of outreach activities is planned for 2015 to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo."

"From 1 September 2014 the NAM will begin to operate a number of its core services again, including its Collection research and enquires service, and Lunchtime Lecture and Celebrity Speaker programmes."

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Drat, and I was looking forward to a visit when we are in London in August!

All the best,

Gary

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Brilliant! Just as interest in the War is cranking up they close one of the finest military museums in the country. Surely they could have planned it better than this. Similar story with the IWM. Although it will be open in time for the Centenary it should be open now to catch the new audience being generated by all the media coverage.

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The new gallery at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, on the other hand, is already open ;)

Direct rail line from Waterloo...

:D

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So the National Army Museum is going to be closed on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI, the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo! Missing the last named is arguably the worst of the three, given that it has the Siborne model of the battlefield and the IWM does not cover that period.

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The programme of outreach activities and the resumption of certain core services from September 2014 is some consolation, but not a lot, and it seems amazing that one of the country's principal military museums will be closed during these major anniversaries. Perhaps, cynically, July 2016 will be the high-point of public interest, but current publicity is already stimulating high levels of interest that the NAM will not be open to satisfy during the 2014 and 2015 visitor 'seasons'.

I have to agree with Gibbo that missing the Waterloo bicentenary is perhaps the most grievous loss, not least because it serves to remind us, in the midst of the commemoration of the two World Wars, that we have in the past fought alongside 'the Germans' as well as against them. Ironically, the size and disposition of the Prussian forces was one of the most controversial aspects of Siborne's Waterloo tableau (see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wellingtons-Smallest-Victory-William-Waterloo/dp/0571217699). What chance, I wonder, of the Waterloo model and a selection of the NAM's collection of paintings and Napoleonic-era artefacts going on tour around the UK? Or, at the very least, being exhibited at an alternative London venue over the anniversary period.

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It would be good to know whether the closure has anything to do with the provision of additional Government funding for the centenary?

A museum suddenly getting a windfall might decide to update itself?

I would like to know much more about how the centenary money is being allocated and spent.

Going further than that - Government spending on projects is now closely connected to key words of inclusivity - gender, ethnicity, local invovlement, and educational outreach to schools. I know of one great horse based-initiative visiting schools.

As a historian of pacifism and conscientious objection, I have mixed feeling about call-up papers being sent out to kids. But teaching history this way, does at least encourage them to think and ask questions.

The local projects may well depend on loans from the London museums? That was true of the exhibition we went to in Lymington.
But I agree the timing is dire. It always happens. Reminds me of the summer when Britten's War Requiem was premiered and the publisher Faber and Faber had allowed the Poems of Wilfred Owen on which it was based to go out of print.
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