Last week I noticed that these blocks were installed all along Exhibition Rd beside the museums and Imperial College. I did not see their use until this morning when I went to pick up my dry cleaning and I noticed the tourists all around me. And,with the latest attack on the mosque in Finsbury Park, in North London, now I understand why these blocks have been installed. It’s to protect the tourists and Londoners such as myself who go to museums from motorized attacks.
The museums in London are for the most part some of the best in the world and their entry is free. Whether it’s the National Gallery with its great collection of the Masters, the Victoria & Albert with collections of paintings, sculptures, clothing, drawings etc… from every corner of the globe, the Natural History Museum with its dinosaur bones and artifacts, the British museum with the Rosetta Stone and again more ancient Greek artifacts than Greece itself or the Science Museum with its education wing teaching about science, if you are ever in London, I invite you to visit a couple. Each museum is amazing. Just the buildings themselves are sometimes the story. Whenever I go into the Natural history museum I don’t really go to look at the dinosaurs and the mammoths. I look at the building itself. The wood carvings, the staircases are some of the best in the world. Same thing with the V&A, I walk around that building, looking to cool down and usually make my way to the tapestry room on the third floor. The room is climate control since you have to protect the ancient tapestries and it’s the ”coolest” room in the museum!
We have been living behind the V&A for the last three summers and it has become my favorite. This morning I was happy to see that the construction of the Exhibition Rd entrance is finally complete. They have reinstalled the gates that were taken down after the bombings of WWII and they have built a new courtyard and basement entry. I can’t wait to check it out this week.
When you look closely at the gates or even the side of the building itself, you can see the holes left as proof of the bombings during the second World War. They serve as reminders and signs of that time.