The Museum of London has today announced that The Prince of Wales has become its Patron. The Patronage follows His Royal Highness’s visit to the museum’s future home in West Smithfield earlier this year.
The Museum of London’s mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of London and all its people – past, present, future – at its current home in London Wall, its future home in Smithfield and at the Museum of London Docklands in West India Quay.
At the visit earlier this year His Royal Highness was given a tour of the Victorian General Market designed by Sir Horace Jones, which has lain empty for almost 30 years, and is due to become the Museum’s main show stopping public space. The Prince heard how wider plans are progressing for the largest cultural infrastructure project happening anywhere in Europe and the museum’s aspirations to create a world class and environmentally sustainable museum.
His Royal Highness was able to meet with one of the apprentices using traditional crafts to restore and reuse the existing fabric of the historic buildings to support the circular economy. When the museum is completed, it will retain 70% of the existing structure.
Passers-by on Farringdon Street will be able to see the restored shop fronts, outer roofs, windows and stonework which have been recently revealed as part of the latest phase of the ongoing restoration works.
The Museum’s aspiration is to create the most sustainable museum possible that responds to one of the great challenges of our time, the climate emergency. To do this, the designs have been developed in accordance with the ‘Be Lean – Be Clean – Be Green’ energy model, which seeks to sensitively refurbish the fabric of the market buildings to improve their energy performance, while at the same time looking at introducing low and zero carbon technologies.
The City of London Corporation has made an unprecedented investment into the project with a substantial contribution by the Mayor of London and donations from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and their affiliated Charity, the Linbury Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Global law firm, DLA Piper, is the project’s inaugural Corporate Champion.
The Museum of London has recently announced its intention to display the Hatton Garden Bank vault raided in a 2015 heist in the new museum in West Smithfield. Visitors will find out how the thieves managed to break into the vault and view the hundreds of small wall safes and deposit boxes making up the vault. Plans for exhibitions, displays and events in 2022 at the museum’s existing sites at London Wall and Docklands will be announced in the new year.
This new Patronage reflects The Prince and Museum’s shared passion for London’s heritage, the capital’s built environment as well as a shared optimism for the future of the city.
Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said:
“As we continue our journey to create a world-class museum for London and Londoners in West Smithfield, it is an honour for The Prince of Wales to be our Patron. Our ambitions are bold and transformative, and I know we share with His Royal Highness a vision of a better future.”
Clive Bannister, Chairperson of the Museum of London, said:
“Our mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of London and all its people. Through the lens of history we are better able to understand the present and navigate the future. With the support of The Prince of Wales, we will continue to deliver a positive impact on the lives of Londoners; both at our current museums in the City and Tower Hamlets, as well as our future home in West Smithfield. We could not be more delighted to receive such an emphatic endorsement, and we look forward to realising our New Museum project with His Royal Highness as our Patron.”