Wednesday June 5th, 2013

The wreck of the Mary Rose has gone on display along with thousands of artefacts lifted from the seabed over 30 years ago. Designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects the nick named ‘Jewellery Box Centre’ has been described as ‘creating a snapshot of Tudor life every bit as vivid as Pompeii summons up Roman times.’

The original excavation of the wreck in 1982 was supported by Prince Charles, who joined divers in Solent after the discovery of the legendary ship that was attacked and destroyed by the French as Henry VIII watched her go down on 19 July 1945.
Over 60 million people watched the hull section being lifted from the waters off Portsmouth , after which it was placed in a museum and sprayed with brine and a preservative until recently. The ships artefacts were housed separately but will now have a new home together alongside Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.'

CEO John Lippiett told the press, 'The new Mary Rose Museum marks a new and exciting chapter in the history of The Mary Rose, providing an astonishing resource for the world to learn about the Tudors and a centre of excellence for maritime archaeology and conservation... The museum is testament to all those who have worked so hard on this remarkable 42-year project to locate, salvage and conserve the ship and her contents.

'The whole of the museum is designed by the curvature of the ship... The concept is to put the objects back into the ship... We have built the mirror image half of the ship... This is a state-of-the-art museum which is at a very top level of any museum I know.

“It is a memorial to the 500 who lost their lives on the Mary Rose... If I died in battle and I saw what was being done in my memory, I would be absolutely thrilled... This is the most extraordinary time capsule of life and death 500 years ago... This isn't just about a ship, it's about life in Tudor times... It isn't just a time capsule though, it rewrites history; historians said that gimballed compasses didn't come in for another 100 years but we have three of them here.”

Dame Jenny Abramsky, HLF chairwoman, said, 'The drama of the day the Mary Rose was raised from the depths of the Solent is forever seared in my memory - the most significant archaeological find in our nation's maritime history... Right from the start, the Heritage Lottery Fund has worked closely with the Mary Rose Trust on this ground-breaking project to reunite the 500-year-old warship with thousands of artefacts telling her story... It's incredibly exciting that, after much painstaking conservation work, the Mary Rose is finally ready to go back on show in a wonderful new space where she will undoubtedly wow all who come to visit.'

The Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, is open to visitors. Well worth a visit.
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