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Cartagena Naval Museum

Cartagena has a long naval history. It's still the main submarine base for the Spanish Navy and Cartagena turns up lots of times as a tag line port in Spanish history. The Spanish gold reserves were shipped to the Soviet Union from Cartagena during the Spanish Civil War for instance and Alfonso XIII - the present King's grandad - went into exile from Cartagena.

So I went to have a look around the very dusty and decrepit looking Naval Museum. As with so many museums in Spain it was locked and someone had to let me in. Good start.

It had some great exhibits - the ward room from a pre WWII submarine, big old diving suits, lots of torpedoes, huge submarine batteries, lots of guns and some really well crafted models but the layout and lighting were a joke. There was some sort of theme to most of the rooms - the Spanish Navy pre 19th Century, undersea exploration, naval weaponary and even naval art but that was as far as it went. Indiviidual exhibits may or may not be labelled, there was no scene setting, no attempt to pull the themes together, no attempt to make it lively or interesting.

I wandered around chuckling to myself and thinking what a lively curator with a decent budget could do with the place.


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