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The exquisite Minton Floor in the Great Hall of St George’s Hall will be on public display from Saturday 7 to Sunday 22 January – uncovered for the first time since January 2009. And for the first time in more than ten years, visitors who pre-book a tour will be given special shoe coverings and get the opportunity to walk across the floor.

Consisting of 30,000 beautifully hand crafted rare tiles, the immaculately preserved surface depicts the city’s coat of arms, sea nymphs, boys on dolphins and tritons. The mosaic was covered in the 1860s to provide a more hardwearing surface for dancing and has only been unveiled a handful of times since.

Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Prendergast said: “Everywhere you go in St. George’s Hall there is a stunning architecture or a stunning piece of art on display, but the Minton tiles are particularly special as they aren’t on permanent display so it’s a real treat to see the beautiful detail of the floor up close.

“The Hall is one of Liverpool’s greatest cultural assets and we want to do as much as we can to encourage people to come and visit this Grade I listed building. “Many people don’t realise what a gem they have on their doorstep, so we hope by unveiling the floor once again we’ll attract thousands of new visitors who will come and experience the fantastic culture and history the Hall has to offer.”

The Hall will be open from 10am to 5pm every day, and although booking isn’t necessary, there is a £1 admission fee for adults, while under 16s go free.For further information please see www.stgeorgesliverpool.co.uk or book onto a tour by calling the Heritage Centre on 0151 225 6909

 

Posted by Jenny Durbridge, our guest blogger this week

Dolphins – highly intelligent and complex marine mammals. Beautiful, graceful creatures that have even been known to save the lives of humans. It is apparent however, that dolphins are not loved by all. Under government instructions for “pest control” and in order to preserve the oceans fish levels for human consumption, thousands of dolphins are rounded up and slaughtered in Japan EVERY YEAR. In a small, relatively unknown fishing village in Japan called Taiji, a massacre takes place for six months of every year. Entire schools of dolphins are rounded up and trapped inside a cove. Those that are not chosen by hundreds of visiting dolphin trainers, for sea life centres and aquariums around the world, are brutally killed by the fishermen. For as long as the hunters are rewarded for show quality dolphins by worldwide aquariums and dolphinariums this senseless slaughter will continue. Live dolphins captured in a Taiji dolphin drive hunt recently sold for $154,000 per dolphin.

Ric O’Barry, the original trainer of the dolphins used in the TV series Flipper has devoted the last 40 years of his life to dolphin protection and campaigns to have dolphins released from captivity. With Ric at the helm, savejapandolphins.org and The Earth Island Institute are tirelessly campaigning to stop this mindless killing.

For more information and to support the campaign please visit http://www.savejapandolphins.org In the UK, efforts to protests are being co-ordinated by http://www.campaign-whale.org/campaigns/japan-dolphins