Propaganda Exhibition

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The British Library is easy to find: right next to the amazing frontages of St Pancras Station and the Renaissance Hotel whose turrets rise above the British Library gardens like an ancient British version of a Disney castle! The gardens themselves merit a tour as they contain some works of art: Gormley's "Planets" which is easily missed and a huge sculpture of Newton which is pretty unmissable!

The Propaganda exhibition inside the Library is very well curated, if a little dark in places, and provides a mixture of horrifying, informative and amusing images, artefacts and video clips from around the world. The 1983 British government poster "Protect and Survive", which showed us how to protect our family in the event of a nuclear blast – brought back some chilling memories for those of us who lived through that time! Amusing early Public Health information films playing on ancient boxed TVs, advising people to cover their mouths when sneezing in order to stop spreading colds and 'flu, provided a welcome relief!

The library contains pleasant indoor and outdoor cafes and offers lockers to store heavy bags, if you do not wish to lug these around the exhibition. You are well advised to use them as there is a fair amount of standing about whilst reading pages from books or watching video extracts, or queueing to do both in busier sections.

I would have loved to have stayed longer to visit the numerous other collections in the Library but, after a quick peek at the stamp collection, we had to dash across London to catch the last day of the Lichtenstein Respective at the Tate Modern. A great way to spend a morning in London – thoroughly recommended.

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