London's Museum of Childhood to get £13m revamp

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Graphic drawing of how museum will look after refurbishmentImage source, V&A

A museum is to close for a major revamp to make it "more interactive and creative and less about nostalgia".

The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green will undergo a £13m improvement to create a "light and airy" space housing "iconic works to empower children".

V&A director Tristram Hunt said it was "beloved by the local community but in need of modernisation".

The museum will close its doors on 11 May for two years.

It will re-open with objects displayed at a toddlers' height, dressing up boxes next to couture fashion, and a huge variety of spaces for hands-on making.

It hopes Hollywood props and costumes, including the original Superman costume and Frankenstein's monster, will inspire the next generation of screenwriters, authors and story tellers.

Image source, V&A
Image caption,
Two children get a close-up of the macabre head of monster Frankenstein used in a Hollywood film

Mr Hunt said: "We want to empower children to realise that every act of creativity is wondrous, whether it's self-expression through their clothes, building a world on Minecraft, or launching a school climate strike."

Author Cressida Cowell, Waterstones children's laureate, said: "We need spaces for children that are designed to spark their imaginations and their own creative ideas."

The V&A Museum of Childhood was founded in 1872 as the Bethnal Green Museum of Science and Arts and was renamed in 1974.

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