It seems like an age since anyone last set foot in a museum. But behind closed doors, staff have been working hard hanging new exhibitions, sprucing up old ones and making spaces safe for their return on May 17, dependent on government guidance. Alexandra Warren picks some old and new favourites.
Royal Museums Greenwich is reopening all of its museums including the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory Greenwich on May 17.
At the National Maritime Museum, visitors will be able to see mesmerising images of space from astrophotography competition Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020.
Images on display include last year’s winners from the nine main competition categories, as well as two special prize winners.
Another exhibition reopening at the museum is the Exposure: Lives at Sea.
Bringing together photography taken around the world by those in the maritime sector, this exhibition shines a light on the forgotten but integral work of seafarers.
In collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Museums Greenwich will host a major exhibition exploring royal portraits, opening on May 28.
Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits will give visitors the opportunity to come face-to-face with the kings, queens and their heirs who have shaped British history.
Cutty Sark, the last-surviving tea clipper in the world, will open its doors again and the visitors can explore its history as the fastest, record-breaking clipper ship of its era.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich, the historic home of time and space, will open the North side, which includes the Prime Meridian line, the Flamsteed House, the Camera Obscura and the Great Equatorial Telescope.
Visitors will be able to see the magnificent technology and craftsmanship of John Harrison’s marine timekeepers, the apartments of the Royal Astronomers and learn about their work and lives at the observatory and step on the historic Prime Meridian line that divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth.
Paddy Rogers, director at Royal Museums Greenwich, said: “May 17 will be a terrific day for Royal Museums Greenwich.
“Our sites and special exhibitions are modern, topical and beautiful.
“Our cafes and other sites are spruced up and ready to go. All we need now is visitors, who can be assured that we are Covid-safe and good to go.”
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