Newly decked out Mary Rose reopens after £5m makeover
Source:the guardian Author:Steven Morris Date: 2016-07-20 Size:
Almost 500 years after Henry VIII’s favourite warship, the Mary Rose, sank off the south coast of England as the king watched despairingly……

Almost 500 years after Henry VIII’s favourite warship, the Mary Rose, sank off the south coast of England as the king watched despairingly, visitors are being treated to an extraordinary new view of the vessel.

The Mary Rose was dramatically raised from the seabed in 1982 and first went on display the following year but has always been obscured by the pipes, supports and sheets of glass necessary to preserve the precious timbers.

Thanks to another £5m revamp on top of the £34m already spent on conserving the ship, the paraphernalia has gone and an upper viewing platform with no glass between viewer and vessel has been created that should make visitors feel closer to it and get a better experience of what life on board must have been like.

Helen Bonser-Wilton, the chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said it had been an emotional experience when a huge Tudor standard that had been hiding from view at its resting place at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard dropped away on Tuesday.

“So many of us we saw the wreck come up so we have had an emotional connection with the ship for very many years,” said Bonser-Wilton. “But to see her like this uninhibited for the first time is huge. I don’t think people realise how big she is. We’ve been spraying her with water, with chemicals, drying her. Nobody has ever really seen Mary Rose since Henry VIII in the way you’re seeing her now. You’re breathing the same air as Henry VIII’s warship.”

Many people at the grand reveal were clearly moved at the sight of the ship, on which more than 400 men died as it did battle in the 3rd French war. The setting is dim, partly to help protect the precious structure but also to give an impression of how dark and oppressive it must have been to be on the ship. It makes for a haunting experience.

New filmed vignettes giving a glimpse into the life of the crew are beamed on to screens showing shadowy, ghostly figures playing, working and fighting. A clever feature is that the visitor can see an image of, for example, the ship’s carpenter with his dog, then turn to see his tools that were found buried in the silt of the Solent along with the ship.

The historian David Starkey, who describes the Mary Rose as Britain’s Pompeii – because of the snapshot it affords into life in Tudor Britain, said he was delighted at the new view. “There were obstacles between you, the visitor, and the ship. Now all of that has been taken away and you can see the thing, it’s there, it’s a three-dimensional object.”

  FacebookTwitterPinterest The ship was previously surrounded by glass, but this has now been removed. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

Ellie Schofield, the project’s head of conservation, explained that over the last three years more than 100 tonnes of water had been removed from the hull and the air around it. The vessel is now stable enough that the drying ducts have been ditched.

The temperature and humidity levels are carefully maintained and visitors enter through an airlock to ensure conditions are perfect. Sensors remain in place around the ship and an alarm alerts Schofield if anything goes wrong. Actually, Schofield reckons, the old ship is robust. “The wood is pretty solid. Sometimes- not often - we walk on parts of it. It’s solid oak, it’s tough,” she said.

It doesn’t stop here. There are plans to give visitors closer access to the starboard side – the far side from the main viewing areas. And, of course, to keep the Mary Rose as ship-shape as possible. “We want to make sure as many people see the Mary Rose for as long as possible,” said Schofield.

Sir Peter Luff, the chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a great supporter of the project, said: “Quite simply, the Mary Rose is awe-inspiring. Over the years since her discovery and her subsequent raising from the sea bed to her display in this wonderful museum, each chapter of her life has intrigued and thrilled in equal measure. After decades of hard work, this final part of the conservation jigsaw brings the Mary Rose back into clear focus and spectacular context.”

 FacebookTwitterPinterest Detail from an oil painting showing the sinking of the Mary Rose. Photograph: Richard Schlecht/National Geographic/Getty Images

[Editor] 孙涵

    Artintern