Page last updated at 09:36 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 10:36 UK

Unseen Mary Rose relics unveiled


A close look at some of the relics that have gone on display

Carefully preserved relics revealing what life was like on board Henry VIII's warship, the Mary Rose, have been revealed for the first time.

A Tudor fiddle and a leather "manbag" are just a few of the items the Mary Rose Trust has allowed to be filmed.

The move marks the launch of the Mary Rose 500 appeal to raise the remaining £4m needed to build the £35m museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

It also marks the 500th anniversary of the commissioning of the warship.

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

The wreck was discovered in the 1960s and in 1982 it was raised to the surface to be restored in dry dock in Portsmouth.

The significance of these Tudor artefacts, many of which are being shown for the first time, cannot be underestimated
Rear Admiral John Lippiett

A 500-strong "crew" of volunteers - symbolising those onboard when the Mary Rose sank - have been tasked with raising £500 each to help with the building of the museum.

The Heritage Lottery Fund agreed to award £21m to the trust, which has raised nearly £10m.

Rear Admiral John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: "The significance of these Tudor artefacts, many of which are being shown for the first time, cannot be underestimated.

"Nowhere else in the world is a single moment in Tudor life captured as it is with the Mary Rose.

"With the help of the new crew of the Mary Rose we are about to write the final chapter in an extraordinary story that began with her raising from the seabed in 1982."

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

A 23-carat gold coin, dated 1544 and bearing an image of Henry VIII on his throne; a urethral syringe used for curing syphilis and a restored comb with nits still inside were among the items unveiled on Monday.

The ship's hall at the dockyard was closed to the public for three years on 20 September but the existing museum will remain open.

The museum will reflect the original ship's structure with Nelson's HMS Victory, docked alongside.

It will continue to be sprayed with preserving polyethylene glycol - a water-based wax solution - until 2011 and then it will be carefully "baked dry" into 2012, when the new museum is due to open in time for the Olympics.

The Mary Rose will be on display in the new museum protected behind glass barriers while the conservation work is completed. The glass is set to be removed in 2016.

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