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The new £27 million Mary Rose museum opens in Portsmouth.
A day of events has been held to launch a new £27 million Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth. A wreath was laid where she sank in the Solent in 1545, and there was a 11 gun salute and volley of flaming arrows in the Harbour.
The Mary Rose, under the command of Sir George Carew, sank on 19 July 1545 while leading an attack on the French invasion fleet during the Battle of the Solent. The sinking, watched by Henry VIII and the wife of Sir George from Southsea Castle, is said to have deeply affected the king.
The museum brings together the ship's wreck and most of its 19,000 artefacts for the first time since the Mary Rose was raised from the Solent on 11 October 1982. More than 60 million people worldwide watched with viewers collectively gasping when the lifting frame suddenly dropped, but the operation went on to be a success.
The 'jewellery box' centre, designed by Wilkinson Eyre architects, has been described as creating a snapshot of Tudor life every bit as vivid as Pompeii summons up Roman times.
Mary Rose Trust Chief Executive John Lippiett said: "The new Mary Rose Museum marks a new and exciting chapter in the history of The Mary Rose, providing an astonishing resource for the world to learn about the Tudors and a centre of excellence for maritime archaeology and conservation."
Skeletons of crew members have been used to recreate their faces. Visitors to the new museum will be able to view the hull through windows into the airtight chamber as it undergoes this final stage of conservation, a highly-sophisticated drying process.
The new museum opens to the public on Friday 31 May. Once drying is complete in 2017, the internal walls surrounding the hull will be removed and visitors will be able to see a completely unobstructed view of the hull.