The new £72 million Museum of Liverpool will open under the wings of a giant Liver bird on July 19 2011, exactly 100 years after the neighbouring Royal Liver Building first opened, planners have announced.
The largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century will have an 18ft Liver Bird perched on its rooftop, overlooking the Mersey waterfront World Heritage Site atop galleries dedicated to the cultural and social history of the city.
“Liverpool’s waterfront is known the world over, and we are pleased that we will soon be welcoming visitors to what is undoubtedly a stunning addition to that World Heritage Site,” said Professor Phil Redmond, the chair of National Museums Liverpool.
“Liverpool’s role in history is also known the world over, as is its iconic symbol, the Liver Bird. It is fitting then that the first purpose-built museum to examine a city’s role in world history, is opening its doors 100 years to the day that the Liver Building itself opened for business.”
More than 6,000 objects never seen by the public will star in the new displays, ranging from the Ice Age and the stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met to the last remaining carriage from the famous Liverpool Overhead Railway.
Organisers said the rapid progress of the fit-out had allowed them to reduce the launch of the major galleries from a three-phase opening plan to a two-stage inception.
“The Museum of Liverpool is all about telling the stories of the city and its people,” said NML director David Fleming.
“This includes the times of struggle such as the Toxteth riots, the triumphs of our musical exports including the Beatles, and the dramatic histories of our football teams.
“Every single event has helped shape this city’s personality. The Museum of Liverpool is here to tell the tale and, like the Liver Building, will be around for many years to come.”