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Happy 10th birthday Seized!

16 May 2018 by Alayna

Curator on quayside by Border Force ship

Curator Steve Butler at the recent Seized! open day

Seized! is ten years old today! The new Customs & Excise museum opened on 17 May 2008. Previously situated on the ground floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, it was redesigned and relocated to a larger gallery space in the basement.

Now known as the Border Force National Museum, it is the only museum of its kind in the country with around 300,000 visitors each year. 

woman in uniform with a sniffer dog at the museum entrance

Each summer we welcome sniffer dogs and their handlers to Seized! for demonstrations

Over the last decade the museum has been toured by many senior Border Force officials and Government Ministers, always inspired by the fascinating collections, interactives and strong education programme.

The gallery displays are ever changing and enhanced to tell a contemporary smuggling story supported by the past. This includes new endangered species specimens, fakes, weapons, drug concealments and a completely new subject of immigration.

The Seized! team are planning some exciting fresh displays in the near future, and will continue to deliver the popular education programme of activities – you can see what is coming up on our What’s on page.

Please join us for a piece of birthday cake on Thursday 17 May 2018, 1.30–3.30pm in the foyer of Merseyside Maritime Museum. We are holding the following free events to celebrate our birthday:

  • 1.30-3.30pm: Meet the team from Seized! Have a piece of birthday cake and find out about their roles at Seized and how they have developed over the last 10 years.
  • 1.30-3.30pm: Customs contraband. A chance to get up close and personal with our collection of smuggled goods, how did they get here? Where were they found? What are they for? All these questions and more will be answered.
  • 2pm: A tour of Seized. Meet our curator who will take you on a tour of our fascinating gallery and shed some light on the stories behind our displays.

The Seized! gallery will also remain open until 10pm on the evening of Friday 18 May for LightNight.

men in uniform on the deck of a ship in Liverpool's historic docks

Crew of the cutter Sentinel at the opening of Seized! in May 2008

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