Major new museum The Box hosts virtual opening this weekend - how you join them

A major new museum. due to open its doors for the first time this weekend, is this weekend taking its launch event online.

The Box in Plymouth is sharing a series of insights across its digital platforms to mark its original opening date.

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The city’s major new museum, gallery and archive was set to open to the public on Saturday May 16 but was forced to postpone its launch due to coronavirus outbreak.

The venue was only two months away from opening when the lockdown came into effect.

Staff, who have been continuing to work on the project remotely over the past few weeks however, are keen to put a positive spin on the occasion.

Paul Brookes, interim chief executive, said: “We’re obviously hugely disappointed that we won’t be opening as planned, but we’d made a massive amount of progress before the government restrictions were put in place, and have continued to make even more progress since.

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“This weekend is a chance for us to connect with our hugely supportive online audiences, reflect on how far we’ve come, share some exclusive footage and, most importantly, look to the future.”

Throughout the two days, The Box will share a series of posts on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

Content will include new videos that document its journey so far, an up-to-date look behind the scenes and competitions to win some cuddly Gus Honeybuns and woolly mammoths.

The flagship exhibition for the Box will be Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy the national commemorative exhibition for the Mayflower 400 anniversary and the largest loans exhibition ever staged by the city of Plymouth, with loans due to come to the museum from American and Holland amongst other countries.

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Exhibition on the voyage of the MayflowerExhibition on the voyage of the Mayflower
Exhibition on the voyage of the Mayflower

Nat Tallents, former BBC MasterChef: The Professionals contestant and executive chef for the Box Kitchen and Bar’ will also give two online cookery and cocktail-making demonstrations that people can follow at home.

Paul continued: “We’re still aiming to be the biggest and most exciting cultural attraction to open in the UK this year, and hope we can confirm a new opening date soon.

“Nothing will compare to the experience of physically visiting the Box and seeing it first hand, but in the meantime we hope people will join us online throughout Saturday and Sunday to enjoy what we have to share.”

The Box is the largest multi-disciplinary arts and heritage museum space opening anywhere in the UK in 2020.

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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.

It has created a cutting-edge, interactive cultural centre with 13 new galleries and exhibition spaces, an elevated archive, learning and research facilities, and the first public square to be built in Plymouth since 2004.

The galleries will highlight the city’s fine art, decorative art, natural history, human history, film, photographic and archive collections.

Additional galleries are dedicated to a changing programme of exciting temporary exhibitions that mark key anniversaries and showcase the work of high-profile artists.There is also café, retail, education and research spaces, ambitious events programme, plus new outdoor piazza.

Follow The Box this weekend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using @theboxplymouth tag.