UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced £5 million funding for the new First World War Galleries at IWM London in a speech outlining national plans to commemorate the First World War Centenary.
The ground-breaking new Galleries will open at IWM London in summer 2014, as part of a transformed museum and IWM’s programme for the Centenary. The immersive and interactive galleries will draw upon the latest historical analysis of the war and will enable IWM to display more of the exceptional collections and tell the stories of those who lived, contributed, fought and died.
Mr Cameron said: “The transformation of IWM London will see the museum re-opened as a centrepiece of our commemorations for the Centenary of the First World War and with it, new generations inspired by the incredible stories of courage, toil and sacrifice that have brought so many of us here over the past century.
“I have brought my children here several times and really believe in the importance of what this museum does. So I am delighted that the Government will provide a further £5 million today towards the transformation project.
“This project will be a vital component of Centenary commemorations and will ensure that many more parents and children come to this very special place to learn about a defining part of our history and to remember the sacrifice of all those who have given their lives for us in conflicts across the last century.”
Diane Lees, Director General of IWM said ”We are delighted by this announcement of funding for the Galleries and also the support for the First World War Centenary Partnership and the Centenary commemorations.
“The Imperial War Museum was established while the First World War was still being fought to ensure that future generations understood the causes and consequences of the war and to remember the men, women and children who played their role. Now that the First World War is outside living history, we are the voice of those veterans and the custodians of their stories.
We remain as committed as ever to continuing our founding mission and supporting the Nation’s commemorations. This funding will help us do so.”
IWM has extensive plans for the First World War Centenary, including new Galleries at IWM London and a major temporary exhibition at IWM North. Beyond the museum buildings, IWM is leading the First World War Centenary Partnership, a growing network of over 500 local, national and international cultural and educational organisations spanning 24 countries.
The Centenary Partnership will present a four-year vibrant programme of cultural events and activities engaging millions of people across the world.
IWM will also launch an innovative digital platform and invite people to become citizen historians and create online profiles to honour the millions of men and women who made life-changing contributions. This will create an online memorial called Lives of the First World War – a significant digital legacy for future generations.