Museum of London Seeks to Relocate to Smithfield Market by 2021

The Museum of London is seeking to move to Smithfield General Market, which has been at the center of a $265 million development dispute.

The tourist attraction plans to double the number of visitors to 2 million a year by moving to the site adjacent to the City of London by 2021, Museum of London director Sharon Ament said Thursday.

Relocating from the museum’s current location at London Wall is conditional on the price to be paid for the former market, which has been empty for decades, Ament said. TIAA Henderson Real Estate’s plan to demolish parts of the market’s buildings to construct offices and shops was ruled “wholly unacceptable,” by the government in July.

“The museum desperately needs more space,” London Mayor Boris Johnson said in a statement. “In its new home at Smithfield General Market, the Museum of London will be able to unleash its full potential to attract millions of people.”

The museum’s exhibitions include marble sculptures from the Roman Temple of Mithras in the City of London, where Bloomberg LP is developing its new European headquarters, and the cauldron created for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012.

Geoff Harris, head of development at London-based TIAA Henderson, which manages $25.2 billion of assets, declined to comment on the Museum’s plan.

“We have been working on various options, each of which will seek to preserve its historical character, while enhancing the public amenity, infrastructure and physical structure at the western edge of Smithfield,” Harris said in an e-mail.

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