London's Theatre Museum May Close in 2007

News   London's Theatre Museum May Close in 2007
London’s Theatre Museum is likely to close in January 2007, according to a joint statement issued by the Victoria and Albert Museum and Royal Opera House.

It had been hoped that a joint venture between the V&A, who own the Theatre Museum’s current building in Covent Garden, and the ROH would save the Theatre Museum.

The statement announced that the plan to run a new center on the current site was unable to go ahead because of a lack of funding.

The V&A is now proposing a new program for the exhibits, including a new gallery at the V&A’s main building in South Kensington. There will also be touring displays, education activities and a major exhibition in 2009 of the collection’s Diaghilev and Ballets Russes costumes, designs and stage cloths.

Tony Hall, chief executive of the ROH said, "Though there has been a huge amount of moral support for the Theatre Museum, money for the most part, has not been forthcoming.”

Mark Jones, director of the V&A, added, "We remain totally committed to safeguarding and displaying these collections which celebrate Britain’s unique theatrical heritage in costume and stage design.” In March a letter — whose signatories included Diana Rigg, Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave — was published in the London Times supporting the museum.

The crisis was prompted by two failed applications for lottery funds to upgrade the Covent Garden building, which has housed the Theatre Museum since 1987.

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