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Heritage Tourism

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Autor:   •  April 17, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  3,233 Words (13 Pages)  •  244 Views

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Table of Contents

Introduction        3

Distinctiveness and unique aspects        3

Conservation        7

Interpretative methods used by NMM        10

Visitor management        11

Bibliography        13


Situated in Greenwich, London, National maritime museum is the largest maritime museum in the world. On the history of Britain at sea, the museum has very important holdings including maritime art for British and Dutch (17th century), manuscripts, cartography just to mention a few. Examples of manuscripts in the museum include ship models, scientific and navigational instruments, and timekeeping based at the observatory among others. The national portrait gallery is the only other place that exceeds its portrait gallery. The museum has books dated back to the 15th century, and it is the home to more than one hundred thousand volumes of maritime historical reference library which is the largest in the world. The national maritime museum has the mission of illustrating the importance of the ships, time, sea and the stars.

It was opened on 27th April by King George VI. Before its establishment, the buildings that house it was the home to royal hospital college until 1933. Its buildings form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site incorporating the 17th century Queen’s house, Cutty Sark, and the Royal Observatory. From 2012, the three are together known as the Royal Museums Greenwich.

Distinctiveness and unique aspects

In the United Kingdom and the whole world, there is no other larger museum than National Maritime Museum. It has treasures that cannot be found anywhere else in the world such as nelson’s Trafalgar uniform, Turner’s largest painting and the Caird library and Archive (NMM, 2016). First, the museum is unique right from its architectural settings of its buildings (HM Government, 2015). Among its unique features within it is the 17th century Queen’s house which was designed by Inigo Jones and it is one of the early classical buildings in England (HM Government, 2015). Through its pairing with the Royal Observatory, the museum combines History, Science, and Arts which makes it possible to trace the movement of people and the origin and consequences of empire.

The National maritime museum is the home to Nelson’s ship (in a bottle) which is the most photographed art works in London. This is a unique feature, and its experience cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Nelson’s Ship in a bottle is a sculpture which was made by Yinka Shonibare. The sculpture is detailed and scaled down, and it is a replica of HMS victory. It is on the original ship that Nelson died during the battle of Trafalgar on October 21st, 1805. The sculpture was originally erected on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, but it was later moved to the national maritime museum and is permanently situated outside the Sammy Ofer Wing, and anybody visiting the museum can see it for free. Another feature that offers a unique blend of old and new architecture is the Sammy Ofer wing and lecture theater that are set within the heart of UNESCO world Heritage. As of 2011, the Sammy Ofer wing was the largest development in the NMM history. The aim of this project was to change completely the way it presents its galleries, event, and exhibitions and since then, this has made it a unique museum of its kind. The unique features of Sammy Ofer wing is a permanent gallery, special exhibitions gallery among others. The wing also allows the museum to stage a full program of temporary shows. The wing is also unique because it gives the museum a chance to focus on discovery, stories of adventure, tragedy, disaster, and courage. This leaves the visitors with a better understanding of Britain’s maritime heritage.

Of its unique features, another one that makes national maritime museum distinct is the earlier mentioned 17th century Queen’s house. Throughout the country, this house is among the most interesting and important buildings because of its architectural design and its former occupants not forgetting its art collection. The commissioning to design the building was done on 1616 by King James I’s wife which was supposedly a gift to apologize. However, the Queen never lived to see its completion because she died in 1619 and the house was completed in 1636. It is remarkable because of its elegant proportions and the high quality of its interiors and also for being the first classical building in England. The queen’s house was used by the royal family until 1805 when it was granted to a charity for the orphans. However, the orphans later moved out in 1933, and the house was taken over by the national maritime museum in 1934. Today the work of great masters such as Reynolds’ Turner, Gainsborough among others is collected here making it extraordinary. However, the list of attractions in the NMM is endless, and if all of its unique features were to be listed in this report, it would not end any time recently. Heritage sites like NMM have a lot of benefits and contributions to the society. For example, the number of visitors who visited the Royal museums of Greenwich in 2014/15 was 2.6 million people (Royal museums Greenwich, 2015). The figures alone indicate that it is a very major tourist attraction, for the tourists who value the heritage attractions.

The national maritime museum being one of the royal museums Greenwich, it is therefore, a contributor to a large number of visitors. Just like other heritage sites, the NMM has its benefits and contribution to the heritage environment. The benefits brought by NMM range from individual benefits to community benefits.  Among individual benefits, it is said that museum has positive effects on health and well-being of an individual (Maeer, Robinson, and Hobman, 2016). Well-being can be expressed as feeling good and functioning well, and research from different people has shown that museums can contribute to that. This is because it provides a sense of connection and belonging, moral values, access to arts and culture, the safe and rich environment just to mention a few. Another benefit from the museum is the historical environment it provides. Several researchers have said that there is a relationship between well-being and historical environment (Maeer, Robinson, and Hobman, 2016). According to research by DCMS in 2014, historic buildings such as the ones in the NMM are said to contribute to the well-being and has a significant positive impact on life satisfaction. With its unique landscape, several studies have also suggested that there is a correlation between landscape and social well-being of an individual. Beautiful landscape promotes an individual’s well-being (Maeer, Robinson, and Hobman, 2016).


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