A South London museum gallery which cost more than £3million to redevelop, opens to the public today.
The 600sqm World Gallery at the Horniman museum opens exactly 117 years after the Forest Hill museum was launched, on June 29, 1901.
The gallery was funded by a £3.3million Heritage Lottery Fund, granted in 2016, along with support from other trusts and foundations.
The World Gallery is divided into four interlinked spaces. An introductory area welcomes visitors into the gallery, where audio-visual installations and displays explore the sentimental attachment people have to objects.
The second area, called Encounters, has rich displays showing examples of ways of living across different times and places.
The next space, Perspectives, is an area that reflects on how and why we categorise, describe and understand the world. Finally, Horniman’s Vision gives an overview of the Horniman family and the museum’s history.
Nick Merriman, chief executive of the Horniman, said: “The World Gallery is an important reminder that we all share one planet, and that the things that unite us are greater than those that divide us.
“Promoting understanding between cultures and a sustainable world, the World Gallery could not be more timely or relevant.
“We are extremely grateful to all of our partners and funders who have made the World Gallery possible, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to this wonderful addition to the Horniman.”
The Horniman was established by 19th philanthropist Frederick Horniman, who set out to “bring the world to Forest Hill”.
The World Gallery forms a major part of the museum’s ongoing redevelopment programme.
The next stage of the project will be The Studio, opening in October. The Studio is a contemporary arts space.
The Horniman will collaborate with artists and community partners to create displays and events that respond to the collections.
The museum is open daily from 10am to 5.30pm.
Admission to the museum and gardens is free but charges apply for the aquarium, butterfly house and some special exhibitions and events.
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