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This museum strikes a great balance between modernity and traditional. It's clean, sleek and very up-to-date in style yet loses nothing of the sense of history in it's presentation. Unfortunately, I had limited time on this, my first visit but it is at the top of my list of places to visit when I return to London.Fiona E,
The National Maritime Museum was opened to the public by King George VI in 1937, before that, the building itself was used as a school for the children of seafarers.
Greenwich as a cultural place to visit started with the Painted Hall in the Queen in the Old Royal Naval College where, from 1823 a National Gallery of Naval Art was displaying 300 portraits, painting and artefacts. A separate Naval Museum was also established in the Hospital buildings when it became the Royal Naval College
But it was only when the Society for Nautical Research had the aim of founding a national naval and nautical museum that collection started to be formed. One of its members, Sir James Caird, purchased over 11 000 maritime prints and some ship models while some other items where donated. All this was assembled to become the National Maritime Museum.
Today the collections comprise about 2.48 million items, many on loan to museums elsewhere in Britain. The public galleries at Greenwich display a thematically arranged selection. The Museum has the most important holdings in the world on the history of Britain at sea.
In 2011 the National Maritime Museum opened the Sammy Ofer Wing, the largest development in the National Maritime Museum’s history. The wing includes a special exhibitions gallery, allowing the Museum to stage a full programme of temporary shows and a permanent gallery – Voyagers – which introduces the story of Britain and the sea.