Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Museum of London - where you can buy time

A spot of good weather over the weekend means that we were able to take a stroll to the Museum of London. I maintain that the Museum of London is one of the many London attractions that are overlooked and underrated. Unlike the British Museum, which is probably on the itinerary of every single tourist to London right up there with London Eye and Westminster, Museum of London, which is based in Barbican is a tad out of the way (but only just).

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That’s good for me and other fans of the museum I suppose. After missing the Modern London history exhibition’s opening by a week during our previous visit to the Museum of London, we have to go down and take a look and are we glad we did.

Three years in the making, the Modern London history galleries in Museum of London occupies the entire lower basement of the museum. There it picks up from the 1666’s Great Fire of London where the prehistoric and medieval London galleries on the ground floor let off.

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Other than the actual Lord Mayor’s 250 year old carriage, a replica of the Victorian streets with real size toy store, pharmacy, fabric shop fronts, there is also the occasional period actor roaming the ‘streets’ peddling spices and reveling visitors with tales of a bygone era.

My favourite, without a question is the part presented by Postcards from The Future where high resolution photographs of how London might look like in the future given the current climate change. Shanty towns from climate refugees will flood London right up to the gates of Buckingham Palace, coconut and palm tree plantation in central London and padi fields near Westminster. Surreal yet poignant. The photographs on display are obviously still copyright protected but head to Postcards from The Future's website to view the collection.

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Also featured are video clips of interviews conducted with Londoners that contrasted the challenges faced currently with that a couple of decades ago. While vastly different, it does struck me how there are similar strands running through them, which came across as frank and vivid.

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As we were taking a break in the cafĂ©, I couldn’t help but noticed that Museum of London is accepting donations in return for having your name associated with a particular year from 1666 till 2012. The timeline runs along a handrail that goes round the exhibition area. Naturally, the more prominent ones are already taken. So if you happen have £5k lying somewhere, there's still time to grab one for yourself!


Museum of London
London Wall
Tel: 020 7001 9844
London EC2Y 5HN

Have you been to the modern London exhibition at Museum of London? What do you think of it?

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2 comments:

William K Wallace said...

I have never been to the Museum of London, I will save it for a rainy. It looks like it is well worth visiting and it can only be a good thing that it isn't overrun with tourists...

C K said...

@William,
If you've not been there before, I reckon you would need to set aside an entire afternoon for it. What I like about the Museum of London is that it's less overwhelming compared to the British Museum and thus easily digestible.