Imperial War Museum - 21st century

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by davidx on August 22, 2002

This museum, or rather more technically it is a branch of the Imperial War Museum, opened in 2002.

The best way to reach it is over the footbridge from the Lowry centre, access to which is described on its own page. The architect responsible for the design is Daniel Libeskind who has been associated internationally with some of the most exciting of recent projects. The idea of the exterior is a shattered world and three shards being put together. Whatever it is , it is an exciting use of modern materials and you would learn more about it by going to than I could hope to describe.

Entry is through the highest shard where there is a lift up to a viewing gallery. Un fortunately this was not functioning when I visited so this is still a treat in store. I have little doubt that it gives a magnificent view.

The main exhibitions could be said to be an anti-war museum, the only type which I could ever really commend. It is geared entirely to the 20th century and concentrates on the effects of war. Much is in darkness for about 15 minutes in each hour when the big picture is being shown. There are three which are shown in rotation so that it would take 2┬╝ hours to see all of them even if you arrived for the start of one! As we arrived a film on 'Why war?' was just finishing.

The whole is divided into a number of parts representing the different phases of the 20th century; 1st world war, inter-war years, 2nd world war, cold war and the end of the century.

Then there are a number of themes illustrated such as Women and war, Science and war and Legacy of war. There is nothing about the glory of war!

Entry is free.

Imperial War Museum North
Salford Quays
Manchester, England, M17 1TZ
0161 836 4000

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