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National Museums Liverpool

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National Museums Liverpool, formerly National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, comprises several museums and art galleries in and around Liverpool in Merseyside, England. All the museums and galleries in the group have free admission. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and an exempt charity under English law.[1]

In the 1980s, local politics in Liverpool was under the control of the Militant group of the Labour Party. In 1986, Liverpool's Militant councillors discussed closing down the city's museums and selling off their contents, in particular their art collections.[2] To prevent this from happening, the Conservative government in Whitehall nationalised all of Liverpool's museums under the Merseyside Museums and Galleries Order 1986 which created a new national trustee body called National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside.[3][4] It changed its name to National Museums Liverpool in 2003.

It holds in trust multi-disciplinary collections of worldwide origin made up of more than one million objects and works of art. The organisation holds courses, lectures, activities and events and provides educational workshops and activities for school children, young people and adults. It's venues are open to the public six days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday, providing both free and ticketed exhibitions. National Museums Liverpool has charitable status and is England’s only national museums group based entirely outside London. It currently comprises eight different venues, one of which is outside Liverpool itself — the Lady Lever Art Gallery, located in Port Sunlight.

Museums and art galleries[edit]

Museum Year Established Status Specialities Image
World Museum 1851 Open Ancient History, archaeology, ethnology, natural history, space and time, science
Walker Art Gallery 1877 Open Art: Painting, sculpture and craft
Merseyside Maritime Museum 1980 Open Immigration, Maritime history
The Piermaster's House 1983 Open Wartime
Border Force National Museum 1994 Open The Border Force National Museum (Known as:Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered), highlighting the work of the HM Revenue & Customs and the UK Border Agency, covering smuggling, crime and the history of tax. Located in the basement gallery of Merseyside Maritime Museum since May 2008.
International Slavery Museum 2007 Open, Phase 2 under development Historical and contemporary aspects of slavery
Lady Lever Art Gallery 1922 Open Art: paintings, sculpture and furniture
Sudley House 1996 Open Art, fashion
Museum of Liverpool 2011 Open Liverpool's social and cultural history. The museum follows the Museum of Liverpool Life, open 1993–2006
National Conservation Centre 1996 Closed Art, conservation science and technology. Closed to the public 17 December 2010. Conservation work continues behind the scenes.


  1. ^ Charities Act 1993, Schedule 2.
  2. ^ Local collections should be nationalised to halt sell-offs "Local collections should be nationalised to halt sell-offs". Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  3. ^ Liverpool’s museum: the first 150 years, p87. [1]
  4. ^ Suzanne MacLeod, Museum Architecture: A New Biography, p31.

External links[edit]