Archive Category:
Tag "conservation"
Young Reporters working with students at Lambeth College

Young Reporters working with students at Lambeth College

This week our IWM Young Reporters speak to conservators Rachel Weatherall and Fiona Mclees about the work the conservation team need to do to get the collections ready for our new First World War galleries due to open next summer.

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IWM London is now temporarily closed until July 2013 as we begin the first phase of our major transformation project.

Di Lees, our Director-General,  speaks about our major redevelopment project, Transforming IWM London. Watch the video above to hear about our future plans.

This temporary period of closure is allowing us to safely and securely deliver the most disruptive construction works needed to transform our museum.

We will partially reopen in July 2013. You can look forward to our major new family exhibition Horrible Histories®: Spies, launching in July 2013.  We will also have an exciting new programme of art and photography exhibitions in the autumn. The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary HeroesThe Holocaust ExhibitionSecret WarA Family in Wartime and our Explore History Centre will be reopening.

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P51D Mustang being prepared for lowering at IWM London in December 2012

P51D Mustang being prepared by our team of expert conservators for lowering at IWM London.

This past week, the last of our 65 large objects, the P51D Mustang – which has been suspended 15m high in our Large Exhibits Gallery for over 20 years – was lowered by a team of expert conservators before being transported to IWM Duxford to be conserved in our public hangar Conservation in Action.

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Over the course of three evenings last week, our team faced the rather large task of preparing, lowering and moving the 15m long V2 rocket that has towered over our Large Exhibits Gallery since 1989.

See more photos of the move.

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Since 1989, five historic aircraft have soared overhead, suspended from the ceiling in our Large Exhibits Gallery at IWM London. Last month the first of these aircraft, a Sopwith Camel, was lowered to the ground and dismantled for safe transport as we prepare for the redevelopment of IWM London in January 2013.

Check out the timelapse video above to see how we did it. 

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IWM’s care and conservation team currently has 17 conservators working at our Duxford and London branches. Between us we have many decades of experience in the field of care and conservation working in the hangars, galleries and labs of IWM looking after a wide range of iconic exhibits such as the V2 rocket, a B-17 bomber, the Tamzine boat, a Wurzburg Radar; our huge art, photo and film collections down to small, everyday objects of conflict such as diaries, letters, uniform and firearms.

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Conservation work on Zero Fighter at IWM Duxford

We’ve been doing a lot of conservation work at IWM Duxford on objects that are not currently on display so that we’re ready for the influx of large exhibits that will be arriving imminently from IWM London. Some of the incoming objects will require tight turnarounds as we’re on a schedule to get them ready and prepped to go back to IWM London in 2013.

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General Montgomery's Grant Tank

The Grant Tank used by Field Marshal Montgomery at the Battle of El Alamein will be the first vehicle to be moved from the ground floor of the Large Exhibits Gallery.

…But soon you won’t.

My role in transforming IWM London is to ensure that all the objects are moved safely out of the building and into storage or to the relevant workshops for conservation before we begin the major construction work on the building in January 2013.

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