Wandsworth Council leader Edward Lister was joined by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the official opening of the new Wandsworth Museum today (Wednesday). Also in attendance were Michael and Dorothy Hintze whose charitable foundation has generously provided £2m of funding to get the new museum up and running. They are pictured (right) with Cllr Lister, and Battersea's MP Jane Ellison.
The new museum, which will officially open its doors to the public on Friday, is situated in the former West Hill library building in West Hill. It has been fully modernised and refurbished so that its collection of local historical and cultural artefacts can be exhibited in an attractive and welcoming environment. There is also a learning centre to support the museum’s educational services; a dedicated research area for access to the museum library and archives; permanent and temporary galleries, a café and retail areas.
As well as signing a 50 year loan agreement with the independent trust that will now run the new museum for the 10,000 artefacts that the council has amassed over the decades, the town hall has also provided a 20 year lease on its new home with a rent free period for the first five years.
Cllr Lister said: "The new museum will offer an exciting and interactive learning experience for local people and schools. None of this would have been possible however without the kind generosity of the Hintze family who have put a huge sum of money into this exciting new museum venture."
Mayor Johnson said: "Whether your interest is our city's Roman heritage, the innovations of the Iron Age, or the touching reflections of a soldier on the Somme, the museum's collection highlights the rich diversity that makes up the story of London.
For more information on the new museum and its exhibitions visit www.wandsworthmuseum.co.uk
Date posted: 1 September 2010