Huppert visits Polar Museum after £1.75m refurbishment

October 28, 2010 3:44 PM

Julian HuppertMP Julian Huppert will visit Cambridge's Scott Polar Research Institute tomorrow (Friday October 29) to see the £1.75 million redesign and refurbishment of the museum.

The work was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has extended the exhibition space by 20 per cent meaning items never seen before can be displayed.

The Polar Museum is one of the world's leading research centres on the polar regions and cares for the unparalleled collection of Arctic and Antarctic art, archives and artefacts.

Exhibits include the last letters of Captain Scott and the polar party and stunning Antarctic photographs taken by Scott's expedition photographer, Herbert Ponting.

The project has also provided new platforms for education and research, including activities for the general public such as lectures, gallery talks and family events, as well as new opportunities for volunteers to get directly involved in the museum's many activities.

Julian said: "I am delighted that the museum has been able to carry out this work which will give people greater access to the treasures from polar exploration.

"This museum plays a crucial role in our understanding of these regions which are vitally important in determining the impact of climate change and how we respond to it in the future."

Inga Grimsey, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund committee for the East of England, said: "The collections at The Polar Museum are of outstanding national and international heritage importance. Through telling the story of polar exploration, visitors can embrace the cultures, art and scientific study of the polar regions."

Heather Lane, Librarian and Keeper of Collections at the Scott Polar Research Institute, said: "We have been delighted by the public's response to the new Polar Museum. Our aim has been to make the collections accessible for all to enjoy and the feedback from visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. HLF support for this project was crucial - their recognition of the importance of the collections encouraged many other donors to provide the necessary match funding. The advice given by HLF staff throughout the renovation has also been a real bonus."

The Polar Museum: Scott Polar Research Institute was founded in 1920 as a memorial to Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his four companions who died on their return from the South Pole. It is the oldest centre for polar research in the world.

Following the extensive refurbishment the museum reopened this year, 100 years after the start of Scott's British Antarctic Expedition. The museum currently has over 8,000 objects in its care including artefacts, paintings and drawings, over 100,000 photographs and other material charting the history of polar exploration and science.

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