Penny Mordaunt MP visited the soon to be open revamped £5million D-Day museum. The new D-Day museum will be known as the ‘D-Day Story’ with a focus on the events of D-Day being told in a new and innovative way.
At the heart of the museum’s collection is the historic 83-metre Overlord Embroidery, an art textile inspired in part by the 11th century Bayeux Tapestry. Commissioned in 1963 by Lord Dulverton of Batsford, the embroidery documents the Battle of Normandy, codenamed Operation Overlord.
Penny Mordaunt had called for the Bayeux tapestry to come to Portsmouth during some of the period of its loan, and suggested that in exchange Portsmouth could loan the Overlord embroideries to France.
She has written to Secretary of State for DCMS, Matt Hancock to ask for his backing. The offer has been discussed with Portsmouth city council and the museum service who are favourable to the Bayeux tapestry visiting Portsmouth.
Penny said: “having the Bayeux tapestry visit Portsmouth would be a great boost for our museums and the city, and create huge local interest. I think the Overlord embroidery is so beautiful and it would’ve a fitting exchange so others can marvel at it.”
The original sole surviving landing craft tank (LCT 7074) is also being restored and will become a new landmark on Southsea Seafront.
Penny Mordaunt said: “I was pleased to be able to visit the new D-Day Story museum and seeing first hand the hard work that is being put into the new exhibits and story telling features. D-Day is an important part of not just World War 2 history, but Portsmouth history.”
“Portsmouth was the headquarters and main departure point for the military and naval units destined for Sword Beach on the Normandy coast. I’ve heard it said by veterans that if you looked down from Portsdown Hill there were so many ships and landing craft, that it seemed as though it would be possible to walk from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight across their decks.”
“Many Portsmouth families also have strongly routed connections to World War 2, and many have direct ancestry with those who took part in the D-Day landings. We must remember them. The new D-Day Story will do that in a more personal way than every before through personal stories and making history connect with every day people.”
“I look forward to coming back and seeing the museum completed when it opens to the public next month.”
The museum will be open in time for Easter and will feature new high tech and innovative ways to tell the story of D-Day.