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article imageNew Museum For the Mary Rose, Flagship of Henry VIII

By M Dee Dubroff     Jun 28, 2009 in Lifestyle
A new, high-tech museum will house the previously unseen treasures recovered form the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship, which went down during a skirmish with the French fleet in 1545. Read more about the fabled treasures that have now come to light.
According to news sources, The Mary Rose was the pride of her day, being the first vessel capable of firing broadside. It went down in the Solent (strait of the English Channel) with more than 400 crewmen aboard, but the exact cause of the sinking has never been ascertained. This Tudor time capsule has been likened to Pompeii, and funds have now been granted that will provide a noble and pristine home for the spectacular warship and its treasures untold.
The Mary Rose was raised with all the pomp and spectacle befitting a royal vessel back in 1982 televised in front of an estimated global audience of some 60 million viewers. It is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world. The remnants of the hull along with a slew of perfectly preserved artifacts have been behind glass at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on England's southern coast ever since her retrieval from the ocean depths.
The new museum will be one-of-a-kind as its designers claim that upon completion it will resemble a finely crafted, wooden jewelry box with timber planks, invoking the structure of the original ship. Some of the money from the funding will be used to continue spraying the hull with a special water-based wax preservative, polyethylene glycol, until 2011 before it is carefully dried for full open-air display in 2016.
Construction on the new museum is expected to commence at the end of the summer and it is hoped it will be open to the public in time for the 2012 Olympic games, which coincidentally, will mark 500 years to the day since lusty Henry was crowned.
Some of the artifacts recovered include: Tudor tankards, wooden and pewter plates, nit combs, longbows and arrows, musical instruments and even bleeding bowls. (These were used to collect blood during blood-letting, which was a practice once done treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions.)
In the words of one spokesman fort he Portsmouth Historic Dockyard:
“It's the strength of the perfectly preserved personal belongings that really captures the imagination and the horror of the sinking on July 19, 1545.”
Although the mystery of the Mary Rose’s demise will never be known, the unraveling of the greater truths that lie within the ghost of her hull and the recovered artifacts tell a much more important tale about man and the vastness of the sea and an age long faded into the mists of time.
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