Museums across the county are being given the opportunity to provide a new long-term home for the architectural treasures of the former Baltic Exchange, which was located in the City of London.
The remains represent some of the best examples of workmanship from early last century and include the sculptured stone façade over the entrance, the building’s cast iron gates, as well as joinery, marble fireplaces and columns from the interior.
The remains will be donated and museums or other suitable collections interested in providing new homes can visit a web-site www.salvaged-baltic.com to view a sample of what is available. One item that has already found a temporary home is the mermaid, one of the central features of the stone facade, which is on display in the Maritime London Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
The Corporation of London will consider expressions of interest for the items on the basis of which organisation can provide the most appropriate use.
The Baltic Exchange was severely damaged by an IRA bomb in 1992. Last year, the go-ahead was given to demolish the building to make way for the London headquarters of Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest re-insurance firms. Skanska UK is undertaking construction work with completion set for September 2003.
Keith Clarke, chief executive of Skanska, said, ”We are delighted that we have placed the mermaid on long-term loan to the National Maritime Museum thereby ensuring that it is well looked after and widely accessible to viewing by the public. Ideally, we will find a similarly suitable home within an important museum or collection with suitable architectural connections for us to donate the entirety of the remaining materials.”