Next month, the National Maritime Museum in London will be opening the Sammy Ofer Wing. This transformative £35m capital project has certainly been a long time in the making, and would not have been possible without the £21 million donation made by Sammy Ofer and the Ofer family in 2008.
Museum Chair Lord Sterling said of the grand project and of Sammy Ofer’s part in it, that it “Gives us all great pleasure that we were able to have the cornerstone ceremony for the new Wing, last year, enjoyed by Sammy and his whole family. Even in recent months, he enjoyed coming with his wife to see the Museum and took great pleasure in seeing our hopes and aspirations taking shape. Our new wing would not be possible without his generous gift of £21m.”
The new wing is scheduled to open on July 14, 2011, and it is the largest development that the National Maritime Museum has ever seen. The new project will include an exhibition gallery that will feature temporary shows. It will also have a permanent gallery, a restaurant and café with views of Greenwich Park, and a state-of-the-art library and archive.
The renovation and new building allows the Museum to have a new main entrance from Greenwich Park. This creates an important connection with the park and with the rest of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.
As part of the renovation, the considerable donation from Sammy Ofer, one of the Ofer brothers, has allowed the Museum to create the Voyagers Gallery. This gallery will act as an introduction for the depth and range of the Museum’s collections. It includes audio-visual pieces and a display of over 200 objects, many of which have never been displayed previously.