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The National Maritime Museum (NMM) is a maritime museum in Greenwich, London. It is part of Royal Museums Greenwich, a network of museums in the Maritime GreenwichWorld Heritage Site. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, it has no general admission charge; there are admission charges for most side-gallery temporary exhibitions, usually supplemented by many loaned works from other museums.
Since the earliest times Greenwich has had associations with the sea and navigation. It was a landing place for the Romans,Henry VIII lived here, the Navy has roots on the waterfront, and Charles II founded the Royal Observatory in 1675 for "finding the longitude of places". The home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian since 1884, Greenwich has long been a centre for astronomical study, while navigators across the world have set their clocks according to its time of day. The Museum has the most important holdings in the world on the history of Britain at sea comprising more than two million items, including maritime art (both British and 17th-century Dutch), cartography, manuscripts including official public records, ship models and plans, scientific and navigational instruments, instruments for time-keeping and astronomy (based at the Observatory). Its holdings including paintings relating to Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Captain James Cook.
An active loans programme ensures that items from the collection are seen in the UK and abroad.
The museum aims to achieve a greater understanding of British economic, cultural, social, political and maritime history and its consequences in the world today. The museum plays host to various exhibitions, including Ships Clocks & Stars in 2014, Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution in 2015 and Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity in 2016.
The museum awards the Caird Medal annually in honour of its major donor, Sir James Caird.
In late August 2018, several groups were vying for the right to purchase the 5,500 RMS Titanic relics that were an asset of the bankrupt Premier Exhibitions. Eventually, the National Maritime Museum, Titanic Belfast and Titanic Foundation Limited, as well as National Museums Northern Ireland, joined together as a consortium that was raising money to purchase the 5,500 artifacts. The group intended to keep all of the items together as a single exhibit. The oceanographer Robert Ballard said that he favoured this bid as it would ensure that the memorabilia would be permanently displayed in Belfast (where the Titanic was built) and in Greenwich. The museums were critical of the bid process set by the Bankruptcy Court in Jacksonville, Florida. The minimum bid for the auction on 11 October 2018 was set at US$21.5 million (£16.5m) and the consortium did not have enough funding to meet that amount.
The Caird Medal was instituted in 1984 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the National Maritime Museum Act 1934 that established the museum. The medal is awarded annually to "an individual who, in the opinion of the Trustees of the National Maritime Museum, has done conspicuously important work in the field of the Museum's interests and is of a nature which involves communicating with the public." The medal is named for Sir James Caird (1864-1954), the principal donor at the founding of the National Maritime Museum.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a fully independent museum, a development of the original FIMI (Falmouth International Maritime Initiative) partnership created in 1992 and the result of collaboration between the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the former Cornwall Maritime Museum in Falmouth.
^ODNB article by Michael Lewis, 'Callender, Sir Geoffrey Arthur Romaine (1875-1946)', rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004  accessed 23 September 2007.
^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 May 2008. Retrieved 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) How the London Maritime Museum rebuffed a German claim in 1965.] The Art Newspaper. 1 February 2007
^ abR. J. B. KNIGHT, HONOR FROST, ERIC RIETH, MICHAEL WEBB, N. A. M. RODGER, DAVID H. ROBERTS, RICHARD BARKER, ALEXANDER FLINDER & LAWRENCE PHILLIPS (1989) (1989). "NOTES". The Mariner's Mirror. 75 (3): 210-276. doi:10.1080/00253359.1989.10656259.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)