New opening date for The Box, the UK's biggest new museum

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New opening date for The Box, the UK's biggest new museum
Safe social distancing measures will be in place at all of The Box’s buildings.

PLYMOUTH.- The Box museum in Plymouth announced new opening dates for Autumn 2020. Having postponed its original May 2020 opening date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Box will now open to the public on Tuesday 29th September 4 months later than originally planned.

Safe social distancing measures will be in place at all of The Box’s buildings, with visitors being asked to book in advance. The Box staff have been working remotely on the launch of the new museum since March 2020, while contractors returned to the site in June to ensure the fit out works are completed by September. The Box is a recovery beacon and a significant part of Plymouth’s ‘Resurgam’ programme, as one of the transformational projects that will symbolise recovery and set the direction for positive change in the local economy and life in the city as we move through the Covid-19 pandemic. Plymouth City Council has already distributed over £42million to support over 3500 city businesses since the start of the pandemic.

The Box is the largest multi-disciplinary arts and heritage museum space opening anywhere in the UK in 2020. Originally three separate buildings, its ground-breaking design has completely transformed, extended and combined Plymouth’s former City Museum and Art Gallery, Central Library buildings and St Luke’s Church to create a cutting-edge, interactive cultural centre with 13 new galleries and exhibition spaces, a striking elevated archive, learning and research facilities, and the first public square to be built in Plymouth since 2004.

The Box will open on September 29 2020 with 12 new exhibitions showcasing contemporary art alongside Plymouth’s rich heritage, ambitious touring exhibitions alongside the city’s permanent collections, natural history alongside maritime history, interactive exhibits, giant art installations, immersive film and photography exhibits, as well as activities for children.

All visits to The Box must be booked in advance, with the new museum capacity expected to be a maximum of 900 people per day. The museum offers free admission to all of its exhibitions apart from the Mayflower exhibition which is free for residents of Plymouth and £5 to members of the public. Tickets are available from The Box website:

Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: At the heart of The Box’s ethos is the conservation, heritage and preservation of Plymouth’s rich history and heritage. Once completed, it will bring together six outstanding national collections in a new and sustainable home, including objects from Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, archives from the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office and film, and photographs from the South West Film and Television Archive and the South West Image Bank. This rich blend of collections will enable the stories of international and local significance to be told through immersive experiences and amazing objects.

Nicola Moyle, Head of Heritage, Art & Film at The Box, said: The Box, which will open in Autumn 2020 as part of Plymouth’s major Mayflower 400 commemorations, will also be renowned for its engaging and highly immersive exhibition programme. The programme will integrate the contemporary and the historic to bring the past to life through the present. It will showcase international visual arts and media, as well as Plymouth’s rich heritage through ambitious touring exhibitions, new commissions and the city’s permanent collections.

Nigel Hurst, Head of Contemporary Art at The Box, said: We are thrilled to be launching The Box’s opening contemporary art exhibitions, which are part of the new museum’s unique programme that gives internationally acclaimed contemporary artists the opportunity to respond to The Box’s collection and Plymouth’s social history. One of our opening exhibitions, Making It brings together internationally recognised artists, whose works that provide contrast between the labour-intensive and wrought process of craft, fabrication, manufacture and making object and installations with material integrity with our and the contemporary culture of instant gratification in the age of social media.

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