London’s Imperial War Museum schedules closure for refurbishment in 2014 gearing up for WWI Centenary

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London is scheduled to close its doors to the public this 2014. The museum is set to reopen after a scheduled repair and refurbishment just in time for the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Only six months ago, the museum was reopened following major repair to the infrastructure. However, it will be closed again next year after authorities discovered much of the building work are still unfinished.

The museum is doing its major refurbishment in preparation for centenary of the start of World War I next year. It is said to take the center stage during the occasion.

The Lambeth-based museum did the initial refurbishment project during the half of year 2013. The museum closed from January to July. But, after thorough inspection, some issues with power, air conditioning and ventilation and digital media wiring were revealed.

The museum is set to close once again from January 6 to the month of July. It will reopen before the 100th year since the outbreak of the First World War.

The initial cost of the refurbishment has been projected to be at £35million. After the discovery of the issues with the building works, however, the budget has been adjusted to a total of £40million for the overhaul.

A museum spokesperson said, “There was an initial period of closure from January-July 2013, while the demolition works were completed. The museum partially reopened in July this year and building works have continued behind the scenes.

“Throughout this major redevelopment project, there has been a high level of discovery on site which has widened the scope of the building works, and a number of substantial infrastructures have been upgraded. It has been important for IWM to deal with these issues now to further improve the building for future generations.”

The Lambeth museum is the flagship of many Imperial War Museums all over the country. The renovations were done so that the museums would be ready for the commemoration of the centenary of the Great War.

The series of museums include the IWM North in Manchester, the IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire and The Churchill War Rooms and the HMS Belfast in London. The museums have planned to create a collaborative program for tourists, visitors and future generations about WWI.

The Daily Mail reports that the IWM is spearheading the First World War Centenary Partnership. It is a global effort that includes cultural, historical and educational organisations working together to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The group has also announced its planned launching of a digital platform called Lives of the First World War. It has also set up the opening of new First World War Galleries at IWM London and an exhibition at IWM North.

The IWM hosts more than two million visitors each year. This is expected to balloon in 2014 during the centenary. IWM posts their plans for the occasion at the website,


Siegphyl is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE