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Friday, 18 July 2014

The Ministry at the Imperial War Museum

Here at The Ministry we've spent the past six months awaiting the reopening of the galleries at the Imperial War Museum and London has certainly been missing the real home of 'Keep calm and carry on'. But finally forty million pounds later IWM London is ready for the public once more. Having undergone an intensive transformation that has seen the museum 'dig deep for victory' into the basement to heighten the central hall and the arrival of over sixty new objects to the space the atrium and surrounding galleries offer a new playground of emotion for war historians, museum enthusiasts and families seeking homework help.

Saturday sees the reopening of the fine institution and there's no doubt it's going to be a pain in the neck for the visitors lucky enough to spend the first day looking up at the incredible suspensions and fancy building. Fortunately The Ministry was able to get a sneak peak (and book a trip to the osteopath) before the crowds gathered and we can guarantee you'll have one heck of a trip.


With the museum's director expecting a hazardous trip down the stairs by overawed visitors into the atrium galleries we expect bafflement to soon prevail as the sheer size and weight prompt questions that can only be answered by the most expert of object handlers. 'How the hell did that get there?!' As a military jeep teeters on the edge of a balcony from the second floor and a boat pokes its starboard out the technical teams object handling level has certainly reached the apex. Yet documentation has run away to hide as interpretation is left up to the visitor, no numbers, no descriptions no links to collections online the galleries let the objects cultural power and history speak for themselves.

The World War One gallery provides an immersive experience into the history of the battle, sensitive and emotive interactive are used to guide the complex politics of war whilst sound and video plays a moving soundtrack to the visit. Dotting the route are rest spots, semi circles facing towards a singular evocative object within a missile shaped bell jar allowing visitors to reflect on the horrific history of war.

Showing the current criticism, The War There Never Was Gallery shows the familiar contemporary battles of the 21st century featuring fascinating objects such as the trial stand for the Lockerbie bombers and a section of a window from the twin towers alongside stop the war coalition posters the gallery provides a fresh scathing look at the horrors so often glorified.
 With such a fantastic and sensitive design of the spaces we could only truly express our delight by instagramming the shniz out of the place; therefore we want you to spend the next week doing the same. Show off the imperial war museums latest design and tweet us your favourite IWM instagrams for your chance to win a copy of IWM: The First World War on the Home Front by Terry Charman kindly donated by @ADMilitary. Use the hash tag #MinistrylovesIWM and we'll draw a winner next Friday so get to the museum and work that iPhone addiction museum geeks! 

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