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We are open! « The Polar Museum: news blog

The Polar Museum: news blog

We are open!

New museum logo

On Tuesday 8th June 2010, after four years of planning and 15 months of construction work, the Polar Museum here at SPRI officially re-opened to the public.

Prince Edward and others

L-R: HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, HRH Prince Edward, SPRI Director Professor Julian Dowdeswell at the unveiling of the plaque to mark the reopening of the Museum.

We were honoured to have TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex to re-open the Museum. Prince Edward is no stranger to the Polar regions, having visited the historic huts in Antarctica and also the Falkland Islands.

Julian is no stranger to Royalty either, having met many members of the Royal Family through SPRI and also having been awarded the Polar Medal by Her Majesty the Queen for 'outstanding contributions to glacier geophysics' (you can see him wearing his medal in the photo above).

Also present at the opening were two Inuit artists from Canada, Andrew Qappik, printmaker and carver Jaco Ishulutak. They spent a week at SPRI including sessions working at the St Barnabas Press and Gallery, and helped to celebrate the opening of the first display in our renovated special exhibition gallery, as part of our Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures project on Inuit Art.


Their Royal Highnesses receive the gift of a print from Andrew Qappik. L-R: HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, HRH Prince Edward, Andrew Qappik, Jaco Ishulutak.

This exhibition runs in conjunction with another curated by Polar Museum staff at Canada House in London until 10 September 2010.

Exhibition poster

It was a fun day and the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people. It is good to see all the objects back on display. This has been a good opportunity to get previously unseen artifacts on display, and we now show approximately 18% of our reserve collection. All of which passed through conservation first before going on display. Of course, this isn’t the end of the project, there are still a large number of artefacts in the reserve collection waiting to be moved into their new home in the refurbished Museum Store, so stay tuned.

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