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Tag "conservation"

The countdown to our re-opening on 19 July continues with the second in our series of films focusing on the objects you will see in our new galleries.

This week’s object is the Lusitania Camisole. The Lusitania Camisole is one of the many objects featured in our new First World War Galleries. It was worn by Mrs Margaret Gwyer, a survivor of the sinking of RMS Lusitania passenger ship, which was torpedoed by the Germans on 7 May 1915.

Mrs Gwyer fell into the water from a lifeboat and was sucked into one of the sinking ship’s funnels. However, the explosion of one of the ship’s boilers blew her back to the surface, where she was picked up and later reunited with her husband. She kept the oil-stained camisole as a reminder of her ordeal.

The camisole features in our new First World War Galleries, which open 19 July 2014.

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With less than a month to go until IWM London re-opens on 19 July we’re starting a weekly countdown with a series of films showcasing activity taking place behind the scenes and highlighting some of the objects you can expect to see when you visit.

Our first film features the return of our Second World War Spitfire plane.




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The Menin Road, 1919, Paul Nash © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2242)

Our new First World War Galleries – opening 19 July – will feature over 1,300 objects including Paul Nash’s painting of a battle scarred landscape The Menin Road.  War artist Paul Nash worked on the painting from June 1918 to February 1919.

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In March we completed our work conserving the objects that will feature in the new First World War Galleries and atrium at IWM London as part of our Transforming project. Over the last 18 months, the conservation teams at IWM Duxford and IWM London have conserved and prepared a whopping 1,456 objects.

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The team move the Sopwith Camel aircraft into IWM London

The end of March saw the arrival of two of IWM’s most iconic First World War objects – the Mark V Male tank and Sopwith Camel aircraft.

This installation represented a significant milestone in the Transforming London project – the tank and the aircraft are the last two large objects to be installed in the new First World War galleries ahead of our reopening  in the summer.

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December 2013 saw the return of one of our most iconic objects – the V2 rocket. The rocket is now in place in our new atrium.

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Watch this short film to find out how our conservation team have cleaned and restored our First World War Observation Tree in time for the opening of our new First World War Galleries in July 2014.

The British camouflage tree observation post is one of the more unusual items in our collections – the museum acquired this tree in 1918 and it is believed to be one of only two in museums in the world. Find out more.


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The British Camouflage Tree

The British camouflage tree observation post. Image © IWM (FEQ 854)

This British camouflage tree observation post is one of the more unusual objects in our collection. Its journey from the fields of the Western Front to display in our new First World War Galleries, nearly one hundred years later, tells us much about the way that the First World War was fought but also how its impact is still with us today in unexpected and surprising ways.

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