Minister backs 'X-wing' plans
CULTURE Secretary Tessa Jowell gave a massive vote of confidence to the £65m museum proposed for Liverpool's waterfront on a flying visit to the city.
During an update by Capital of Culture leaders yesterday, she was shown a model of the planned landmark building at Mann Island and declared it looked "beautiful."
The architecturally striking museum - which detractors claim resembles a Star Wars X-wing fighter - will provide 10,000 square metres of exhibition space, dedicated to the city's social history and development from the Norman conquest to the present day.
It is earmarked for part of the site which was due to be occupied by the ill-fated Fourth Grace project.
Ms Jowell said: "The museum will be beautiful and functional, and a new landmark for Liverpool.
"I hope in time it will be a building people will love."
Ms Jowell said she was confident this project would go ahead, after the spectacular collapse of the Fourth Grace scheme last year.
"The vast bulk of the money has already been raised, and everything is ready to start on site in April next year," she said..
"It is properly thought through and ready to go."
National Museums Liverpool (NML) chairman Loyd Grossman, who showed Ms Jowell the model for the building, said he was confident the museum would be built by 2008.
However, it is not due to be open to the public until the next year.
Mr Grossman said: "We are striving to create one of the great museums of the world, and one of the first great museums of the 21st century. It will make a major contribution to the public realm. We want it to be a place that Liverpool people feel they own." More