IT’S COST £27m to get this far, has picked up a national award as one of the best places to visit and now the Mary Rose Museum is set to enter another exciting stage.
Home to King Henry VIII’s flag ship Mary Rose, most of the museum will be closing on November 30, so the final changes can be made to help preserve the vessel that sank in 1545.
Visitors will enjoy uninterrupted views of the hull from all nine galleriesHelen Bonser-Wilton, chief executive of The Mary Rose Trust
The wreckage has been drying out in a ‘hotbox’ after it was sprayed with chemicals in order to make sure the timbers do not rot.
Helen Bonser-Wilton, chief executive of The Mary Rose Trust, said: ‘This phase of work enables the project to enter its next exciting chapter in what is a long and remarkable history.
‘The last two years have seen the final phase of conservation bringing the hull to a stable state.
‘The air-drying of the hull is taking place inside the hotbox. During this time, visitors have only been able to see the hull through a series of small windows, with the view being further obscured by the black drying ducts.
‘By the end of 2015, almost 100 tons of water will have been removed from the hotbox and the hull will be sufficiently dry for the textile ducting and the walls around the ship to be removed.
‘This presents an extraordinary opportunity to turn the wreck of the Mary Rose back into a living ship.
‘Visitors will enjoy uninterrupted views of the hull from all nine galleries.’
Some parts of the museum, which is in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, will still be open.
Helen added: ‘The entrance pavilion, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Learning Centre, cafe and shop will remain open and there will be a small display for visitors, including a new 10-minute film on the project.
‘During this closure period, we will still be able to welcome educational groups.
‘A range of outreach options will be available for schools and groups.’
The museum is planned to reopen in summer 2016.
Last week the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard was crowned the best tourist attraction in the UK at the Group Leisure Awards, beating The Shard in London and Harry Potter studios.