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Village museum joins Mary Rose in battle for art prize

A village museum in Sussex will compete with the new Mary Rose exhibition hall in Portsmouth, as well as Tate Britain, to be named the Museum of the Year.

The Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft reopened last September and could win an Art Fund prize worth £100,000.

The result will be announced on July 9 and we spoke to director Hilary Williams about the museum.

Mary Rose exhibition finalist of Museum of Year 2014

The Mary Rose Museum is one of six finalists for the competition Credit: Mary Rose museum

Portsmouth's new Mary Rose Museum is one of six national museums to make it to the final of a national museum competition.

The prestigious Art Fund Prize for the Museum of the Year 2014 recognises an exceptional standard of excellence and awards the winner a prize of £100,000 annually.

The museum houses unique finds from the historical flagship Credit: Mary Rose museum

The Historic Dockyard's nomination comes after the centre welcomed 415,000 visitors since opening.

The museum displays the starboard section of the ship that served Henry VIII for 34 years, before spending over 400 years under the Solent.

Following the painstaking archaeological excavation and recording of the exact location of every find, the project team have been able to recreate the interior of the Mary Rose, where the ship has been reunited with the possessions of the crew and all the material of a Tudor warship.

Visitors can relive the experience of those on the Mary Rose in the museum Credit: Luke Hayes

The six museums which have been selected as finalists for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year are:

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex; Hayward Gallery, London; The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth; Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich; Tate Britain, London; and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield.

Oxford Museum reopens following roof restoration

Millions of pounds have been spent, over the last few years, on our museums and places of culture.

We've seen the Seacity Museum, open in Southampton - telling the story of the great ship Titanic and, last year, in Portsmouth - the opening of the new Mary Rose Museum.

Well, today, another unveiling - as the wrapping came off - hundreds of treasures at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford. They've been boxed away for over a year - as Rachel Hepworth explains.


  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Museum celebrates world record

It's a motoring enthusiasts' paradise - classic cars from Bugatti to Rolls-Royce, MG to Triumph. The collection has been built up over many years by a private collector in East Sussex - the vehicles all lovingly maintained and kept in a dedicated museum.

But as David Johns explains, all is not quite as it seems. He talks to Phil Collins, collector, and Chris Booth, Car enthusiast.

£2.5 million of lottery money given to tank museum

Bovington's Tank Museum in Dorset has been handed a windfall two point five million pounds.

The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will go towards a new tank restoration centre, two new exhibitions and more support for volunteers.

Tank Museum Director Richard Smith said; "This is a pivotal moment in the history of The Tank Museum.

The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund will ensure that we can continue to thrive, so we are naturally delighted and extremely grateful."

Great Expectations at Charles Dickens' last home

The public will now be able to see inside Charles Dickens' last home at Gad's Hill Credit: Derek Johnson

Charles Dickens' house at Gad's Hill in Kent opens to the public for the first time this afternoon.

Previously the ground floor of of the property has only been accessible to the pupils of the independent school which occupies the building.

Sixty people a day will be allowed to tour the house at Higham where Dickens lived for thirteen years.

They'll be able to see key rooms, including the study where he wrote Great Expectations.

It's an exciting opportunity for Dickens enthusiasts Credit: Derek Johnson

He died here in 1870 while working on his final novel.

The tours are being organised by the Charles Dickens Museum in London and will continue until the middle if August.

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