Delight as Portsmouth museum shortlisted for continental award

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YEARS of hard work at a museum in Portsmouth have paid off – and now a continent-wide award is on the cards.

The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth has been shortlisted for the prestigious European Museum of the Year award.

The Mary Rose viewing gallery

The Mary Rose viewing gallery

The awards recognise museums across Europe that have taken an innovative approach to educating people.

DON’T MISS: Next Friday’s News has a great reader offer that will save you 20 per cent on admission to the Mary Rose Museum

Chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, Helen Bonser-Wilton, says that the nomination is a testament to the hard work of those who have brought the museum to life.

She said: ‘We are absolutely delighted by the news.

‘Awards like this truly are the gold standard for museums across Europe, so to be nominated is very special indeed.’

The Mary Rose underwent a complete revamp in 2016, with views of the ship opened up from all three decks and nine galleries through full length glazing.

On the upper deck, visitors now pass through an airlock and breathe the same air as Henry VIII’s flagship.

To bring the ship to life, state of the art projections of the crew were introduced, showing them going around their everyday lives in wartime and peacetime.

Helen Bonser-Wilton said: ‘The first iteration of the Mary Rose, which opened in 2013, won a coveted EMYA Special Commendation in 2015, in recognition of the high quality of the museum.

‘We are thrilled to be shortlisted again so soon after the special commendation, in recognition of the transformational changes that we made to the Mary Rose in 2016.

‘We have changed the museum so much in the past few years, which I think is why we have been fortunate enough to make the shortlist.

‘Our intention with the Mary Rose Museum was always to make it to this point.

‘Everyone has worked so hard to make this happen and we can all be very proud of what has been achieved.’

Helen believes that the unique collection stored in the museum, alongside the experience of walking through the ship is the reason they have been shortlisted.

She said: ‘Our collection here at the museum is so unique – it really does stand out from other museums.

‘There is an incredible mix from items of royal significance to things owned by ordinary people.

‘The museum plays on the emotional stories of everyone from the Tudor period.’

The awards will take place in Poland from May 9-12.