National Maritime Museum Campaign to Buy Nelson's Ship in a Bottle

By Zoe Craig Last edited 77 months ago
National Maritime Museum Campaign to Buy Nelson's Ship in a Bottle

The National Maritime Museum has launched a fundraising campaign to buy the current Fourth Plinth artwork, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle.

The Greenwich museum wants to provide Yinka Shonibare’s sculpture with a permanent home when it is replaced on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in January.

It would be a perfect fit for the museum; going on display outside the new Sammy Ofer Wing entrance, and complementing the museum’s maritime collection.

The Art Fund has already contributed a £50,000 grant to the campaign. However the museum will have to raise an additional £362,500 to buy the piece and keep it on public view. The National Maritime Museum is asking for public donations to make up the amount.

If you want to help, you can text SHIP to 70555 to donate £5 to the campaign; call 0844 415 4100; or go online at There you can watch a rather nice virtual Ship in a Bottle move along a map from Trafalgar Square to its new destination in Greenwich as the funds increase. (Blue Peter’s Totalisers have a lot to answer for.)

It’s what the artist wants: Yinka Shonibare said, "I would very much like to see the work have a permanent home at the National Maritime Museum. I worked closely with the NMM earlier this year on a series of events and for me the location and the collection are the perfect future home for this work."

Look out for the golden boy on a rocking horse coming to the Fourth Plinth in January…

Photo by M@

Last Updated 02 December 2011


Just my humble opinion, but it seems to me, an ordinary member of the public, that something in the region of £412k is a slightly too high a price to pay for this particular piece of art work.  Also, I am not surprised that the artist would like the piece to be displayed at the NMM - all that free publicity!  Nothing personal, Yinka, what do I know anyway?

Ardashes asdarjian

as a marine model artist I built h.m.s.(endevour ) was my first kit  model  after that I scratch built the Wasa 6 foot long  and also built cutty sark in 18.l wine bottle  and other ships in a bottle to, if you have time to visit my museum ( ) you can  see my models maybe not as many as you have but it is good enough fore me and soon will be cutty sark picture posted to best regards ardash