Imperial War Museum's WWI Centenary Galleries Win Heritage Lottery Fund Support

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 November 2011
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a photo of a lifesize diorama featuring soldiers going over the top from a trench
The Trench: Part of the current World War I galleries at Imperial War Museum© Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum's ambitious plans to mark the centenary of the First World War received a welcome boost this week with news of a funding green flag from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"Initial support" from the Heritage Lottery Fund means the IWM can now progress its plans to secure a full HLF grant of £4.5 million to transform the galleries at its flagship Lambeth in time for the centenary of the conflict in 2014.

Part of a four-year Centenary programme also backed by HLF funding, which will see events take place across the country, the new galleries will enable the museum to expand its First World War galleries by 45% and display more from an extensive collection that goes back to the founding of the museum as a memorial to the war in 1917.

IWM Director General Diane Lees, who described the centenary as a "landmark anniversary for Britain and the world", said the galleries and wider programme of events would "reconnect people with the First World War and keep the history and personal recollections of the war alive for future generations."

As well as military hardware and equipment, the IWM's First World War collection includes art, film, sound recordings and photographs.

Original objects such as personal items, letters and diaries will be exhibited in highly interactive, multimedia displays, which explore the personal stories of those who lived, fought and died in the First World War.

IWM is currently fundraising to meet the full £35 million project cost of the First World War galleries, as well as improvements to the Atrium and upgraded visitor facilities for 2014. In addition to the HLF's support, £13 million has been secured to date.

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