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The award-winning Scottish Maritime Museum is set to welcome visitors to the largest programme of summer exhibitions and events held at the Museum on Irvine Harbourside since Covid began.

The jam-packed ‘Come and Sea Us’ programme, which will feature sea monsters, mermaids and fun activities for all ages, has been made possible by the support of the Museum and Galleries Scotland (MGS) Museums Recovery Fund.

‘Come and Sea Us’, which builds on the Museum’s popular annual ‘summer of fun’ events and will run from June to September, will centre on the upcoming family-friendly blockbuster exhibition, ‘Sea Monsters!’ as well as two festival events during July.

The first festival event will take place on Saturday 2 July, the opening day of ‘Sea Monsters!’ and include sea monster surprises and traditional funfair stalls across the Museum Courtyard.

The second family event will take place during the Making Waves festival on Irvine Harbourside and Beach Park on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July.

The ‘Come and Sea Us’ programme engaging visitors with the ‘Sea Monsters!’ exhibition and the Museum’s national collections of maritime heritage and art will also include Arts Award family days, sketching, storytelling, music, poetry and performance art workshops.

Special ‘screamings’ of sea monster-themed films will run on a six metre high Airscreen throughout the summer.

In addition, the MGS award of £56,134 has enabled the Scottish Maritime Museum to appoint two Play Officers for July and August.

The new Play Officers will lead Magic Carpet storytelling and singing sessions for under 5s and their carers, ‘Make and Take’ craft sessions for older children and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) activities and workshops for all.

Abigail McIntyre, Senior Curator at the Scottish Maritime Museum, explains:

Thanks to the Museum and Galleries Scotland’s Museums Recovery Fund award, we can take our events programme to a whole new level, welcoming everyone to a fabulous, fun summer of sea monsters, mermaids, art, performance and activity!

“With two new Play Officers in post, we’re also looking forward to engaging more pre-school visitors as well as offering more opportunities for young people between 10 and 16 years of age. After the past two years, we want to play our role in helping young people come together, have fun, learn, socialise and rebuild confidence.

“With so much happening at the Museum this summer, it’s a great time to follow us on social media and ensure you don’t miss out!”

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, adds:

We’re delighted to support the Scottish Maritime Museum through the Museums Recovery Fund, made available by the Scottish Government, to continue adapting in response to the challenges and opportunities brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is vital that we support the financial resilience of museums and galleries so that they can move forward as fun and inspiring spaces for their communities.”

The Scottish Maritime Museum’s ‘Sea Monsters!’ exhibition celebrates the fantastical and mythical sea creatures of Scottish legend and maritime mythology across the world.

As well as catching up with the latest news on Scotland’s most famous mysterious sea creature – the Loch Ness Monster, visitors will also explore platysaurus fossils, a shark’s jaw and wet specimens on loan from The Huntarian at the University of Glasgow.

Visitors can also ponder on the ‘Sea Monk’. Was this half man, half fish ‘monster’ appearing in naturalist reports across Europe during the 16th century real or fake?

Art on show will include sculptor Andy Scott’s early sketches of his 30 metre high Kelpies and two of his three metre high steel scale models or ‘maquettes’.

Other highlights of ‘Sea Monsters!’ will include original artwork from French-born and now Glasgow-based illustrator and designer Axel Gutapfel and Irvine artist Maree Hughes’ interpretation of the legend of the Selkies or ‘seal people’ from the Northern Isles.

‘Sea Monsters!’ will run from Saturday 2 July to 18 October.

The exhibition is included in Museum entry and up to three Children go FREE with each Adult/Concession.

For more information about ‘Sea Monsters!’ and ‘Come and Sea Us’ events,
visit www.scottishmaritimemuseum.org or follow @scotmaritime on social media

Issued on behalf of the Scottish Maritime Museum by
Joanna Harrison, Mobile: 07884 187404

Notes to Editors:

Museums Galleries Scotland is the National Development Body for museums and galleries in Scotland and offers strategic development support to the sector. For further information about Museums Galleries Scotland visit www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/about-us/

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