Prince of Wales, savior of Victorian architecture, named new patron of the Museum of London


In 1984 he started an infamous plank on the ‘monstrous carbuncle’ planned for the National Gallery, while Birmingham Central Library, built in 1974, was once compared to a ‘book incinerator’ factory.

In May, the Prince was briefed on the Museum of London’s aspiration to create “the most sustainable museum possible” when the West Smithfield site opened in 2024.

In keeping with his passion for the environment, the designs have been developed in accordance with a green model that improves energy performance while introducing low and zero carbon technologies.

Museum of ambition

When the museum is completed, it will retain 70 percent of the existing structure.

It is a question of reversing the traditional notion of museum, by moving away from “objects in window” and plaques.

Instead, the preserved building itself will be one of the main attractions, as the community uses this unique space.

It will aim to reflect the lives of Londoners, both in the past and today, telling the story of the Great Fire and the Plague, but also more modern events, such as the heist of Hatton Garden in 2015.

Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said: “Our mission is to improve understanding and appreciation of London and all of its people. Through the prism of history, we are better able to understand the present and navigate into the future.

“With the support of the Prince of Wales, we will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of Londoners, both in our current museums in the City and Tower Hamlets, as well as in our future home in West Smithfield.”


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