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Children Decided What This Museum Should be Like

In East London, a new museum dedicated to children is opening its doors. Young V&A is the younger sibling of the Victoria and Albert Museum in central London.

Interior of Young V&A, London
Credit: Young V&A

The newly opened Young V&A is the result of a seven-year consultation with more than 22,000 children to create three exhibitions. No statues or centuries-old paintings are on display here. Instead, a wide selection of items, important to children, are laid-out, including books, toys, superheroes, and even prosthetic limbs.

The three big galleries at Young V&A are called 'Imagine', 'Play' and 'Design', and are tailored to children from 0 to 14.

This place, as opposed to traditional museums, invites visitors to touch the items on display, and being loud is part of the experience; the museum has been set up to give an opportunity to learn while having fun.

"This is a museum we're doing for playing, for imagining, for designing, for hanging out with your friends," says Helen Charman, director, Young V&A.

The Young V&A was formerly known as the Museum of Childhood, but £13 million ($16.5m) was invested to make this recent shift and to shine as a museum for children.

"Making this museum free, we hope we're cutting down some of the barriers to accessing this and making sure that even when times are tough in our society, that there are places you can come," says Catherine Ritman-Smith, head of learning and engagement, Young V&A.

The Princess of Wales and Duchess of Cambridge officially inaugurated the building before its opening on 1 July. Young V&A


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