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Mary Rose museum unveiled in Portsmouth

The total cost of the project to conserve and house the 16th century warship is £35 million Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

A new £27 million museum housing the wreck of the Mary Rose has opened in Portsmouth in the same place where the ship was built more than half a millennium ago.

The new centre reunites the warship hull with thousands of its artefacts for the first time since they were lifted from the seabed in 1971.

Designed by Wilkinson Eyre architects, the "jewellery box" centre has been described as creating a snapshot of Tudor life as vivid as Pompeii did for Roman times.

ITV News correspondent Ben Chapman reports:

Undiscovered on the seabed of the Solent for centuries, the ship sank off Portsmouth, Hampshire, in full view of Henry VIII during battle with the French on July 19 1545.

Its exposed timbers were seen by divers in 1971, which led to extensive excavations, supported by Prince Charles.

The wreck was placed in a museum, where it has been sprayed with water and then a preservative until last month.

Its artefacts were housed separately and now the Mary Rose Trust believes it has the home it deserves to show off the wealth of treasures.

The Last Post was played during the unveiling service Credit: ITV News/Ben Chapman

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Trust, said:

When the Mary Rose was raised from the muddy waters of the Solent in 1982, the founding members of the trust had a dream to put the ship and her contents into a permanent museum.

"It has been a long and difficult passage since then to achieve this aim. The technical challenges of conserving the hull and 19,000 artefacts have been very considerable, and the funding challenges equally so.

The total cost of the project to conserve and house the only 16th century warship on display in the world has cost £35 million, with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) providing more than £32 million during the past 18 years.

The bones of 'Hatch,' the ship's dog, are in a case at the new Mary Rose Museum. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Sandi Toksvig, comedienne and chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said:

The new Mary Rose Museum is one of the most exciting history projects ever to open in the UK.

It is so wonderful to see the crew honoured in such a wonderful way. As you walk through the length of the ship you don't just see what life was like for a Tudor seaman.

The Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the same place where the ship was built in 1510, opens to visitors on Friday.

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