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Imperial War Museum Re-Opening

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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A New Way Exploration of the Past

In 2012 the Imperial War Museum in London closed to the public for redevelopment. They have been hard at work building new gallery spaces, a new central hall, and a layout that is easier for visitors to navigate their way around. Although areas of the museum did re-open again last year, there were still lots of places closed off.

But from the 19th July, the Imperial War Museum is ready to open its doors once more, and welcome its guests. Right on time for the centenary anniversary, there is now a new First World War Gallery where you will be able learn about the lives of the people fighting on the front line and those doing their bit on the home front. For example, most of us are aware that women took over many male job roles during the war, but then lost them again after it ended. But this was the case with more than just jobs. Women's football became very popular in wartime, but afterwards, they were banned from playing.

The Museum's new atrium will feature iconic aircraft such as a Harrier jet, Spitfire plane, and V2 rocket. Their permanent exhibits will be up and running again, including The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes, Secret War, A Family in Wartime, and The Holocaust. These will stand alongside a temporary art exhibit called Truth and Memory. Running until the 8th March 2015, it is going to be the largest showcase of British Art of the First World War in almost a hundred years.

It will feature painting of life on the Western Front, work by women war artists, aerial art, posters, and photography. One of my favourites is Oppy Wood, 1917. Evening (John Nash, 1918), depicting two men in the trenches. It's style reminds me of Salvador Dali. Also, rather poignant is the recruitment poster depicting a chivalric knight on horseback, fighting a dragon, which promotes the Romantic ideals of glory, excitement, and honour.

Not forgetting the kids, they can become covert spies in a Horrible Histories: Spies exhibit, discovering all the secrets of going undercover.
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When: 19th July
Phone: 44 (0)20 7416 5000
Where: IWM, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
Cost: Free
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