Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Monday, 31 August 2009 13:03 UK

Mary Rose to go from public view

Mary Rose museum
An artist's cut-away impression of the new Mary Rose museum

Henry VIII's warship, the Mary Rose, is set to disappear from public view for three years as new conservation work gets under way.

The ship's hall at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will close from 20 September to allow work on a new museum.

The Heritage Lottery Fund agreed to award £21m to the Mary Rose Trust, which has also raised nearly £10m itself towards total costs of £35m.

A number of events have been planned for visitors during the closure.

Mary Rose sank after 34 years of service with the loss of more than 400 lives on 19 July 1545.

'Worldwide visitors'

The hull of the ship was salvaged in 1982 and has been on display since.

The trust aims to complete the work by 2012, in time for the Olympics.

The ship will continue to be sprayed with preserving polyethylene glycol, a water-based wax solution, before being carefully dried for full display in 2016.

The new building will be a boat-shaped museum clad in timber planks, reflecting the structure of the original ship and Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, which is docked alongside.

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: "We have devised an imaginative programme of events and interpretations during the closure to give visitors a different, but equally fulfilling, visitor experience."

A Mary Rose Trust spokesman said: "The Mary Rose features highly on an international stage and the new museum will continue to attract visitors from all over the world and provide a learning programme to inspire children, students and community groups of all ages and abilities."

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