Imperial War Museum Opens Doors

The Imperial War Museum in London has been undergoing millions of dollars in renovations, but is now gearing up to receive visitors once again after opening its doors. These renovations not only added to the look of the facility, but also to its general content. With new exhibitions and a new look, the overhauled and revamped Imperial War Museum is now open for business and is expecting a potential increase in visitors due to the changes they have made.

When all was said and done, the facility had spent approximately forty million British pounds. This included the addition of multiple exhibitions on World War I. These exhibits are not temporary, but are rather a standing part of the facility’s included content. A great bulk of the changes made to the Imperial War Museum revolve around the atrium. The colors have been somewhat muted, with stairs and canopies made of grey steel. The massive aircrafts that hang in suspension from the roof of the atrium appear somewhat somber due to their faded paint. Despite the massive planes, many items have actually been removed from the atrium, giving it something of a minimalist effect.

The facility has also been given some relatively artistic additions. One such addition is that of an automobile which was destroyed during a Baghdad bombing. This is not from the First World War, but rather from the early twenty-first century. The Imperial War Museum has previously been regarded by some as a site which made battle appear strictly heroic. The inclusion of the destroyed automobile makes clear the much more the tragedy which accompanies any armed conflicts.

The facility’s prime historian, Nigel Steel, says that these changes are in support of the views they have held all along. Even though some younger males may have previously seen the vehicles and weaponry in the Imperial War Museum as relics of heroism, this was never their primary goal. While the heroes of battle deserve reverence, Steel and his colleagues believe the nature of battle itself to be quite serious. They believe the deadly battles of such conflicts should be remembered for the losses they caused, not the glory they brought to the United Kingdom, The Telegraph reports.

Now that the Imperial War Museum has once again opened its doors, visitors are free to see these changes for themselves. It is the hope of Steel and other employed by the Imperial War Museum that these changes will help to increase awareness regarded the tragedies of battle and how they affect even those who remain far from the battlefield.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE