Messenger NewspapersMuseums compete for top award (From Messenger Newspapers)

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Museums compete for top award

Messenger Newspapers: Artifacts brought from the sea bed of The Solent and preserved on display at the new Mary Rose Museum Artifacts brought from the sea bed of The Solent and preserved on display at the new Mary Rose Museum

The new venue displaying the preserved remains of Henry VIII's sunken flagship the Mary Rose will compete with arts institutions such as the Hayward Gallery and Tate Britain for the UK's top museum award.

They have made the shortlist of six institutions competing for the annual £100,000 Art Fund Prize For Museum Of The Year.

The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth opened in May 2013, displaying the starboard section of the ship which spent 400 years on the bed of the Solent, and reunites it with the crew's possessions and other artefacts.

The hull had been undergoing round-the clock conservation work since it was salvaged more than 30 years earlier, before being housed in the £35 million museum.

London's Hayward Gallery has been included for the quality and range of its exhibitions - including work by Jeremy Deller and Mark Leckey - while Tate Britain is featured for the reconstruction of several galleries and the revamp of its entrance and rotunda.

The redeveloped Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield complete the list of nominees.

The award - formerly known as the Gulbenkian Prize until 2007 - was won last year by the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, London.

Chairman of the judges Stephen Deuchar, a former director of Tate Britain, said: "2013 was a strong year, by any standards, for UK museums and it was no easy task to select a shortlist of six from an extraordinary body of applications. It is almost as if imaginative and innovative curatorship, combined with the highest standards of presentation, is no longer the exception but the rule."

The winner is to be announced at a ceremony at London's National Gallery on July 9.

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