Anyone who has worked or dealt with glass knows that delicate material that can be challenging to work with. This is what makes the panels, of what is referred to as the Baltic Exchange Memorial Windows, such an exquisite example of the the medium. In the Spring of 1992, the Baltic Exchange building experienced a terrorist attack. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated a series of explosives that damaged the building in London’s financial district, where the “Gherkin” (Swiss Re Building) currently resides.
The original piece consisted of 240 panels that form a dome, and five separate panes depicting the virtues of faith, fortitude, hope, justice, and truth. This stunning and detailed work of art was designed by Scottish artist John Dudley Forsyth to memorialize 60 members of the Baltic Exchange who lost their lives fighting in World War I. The windows were unveiled above the building’s staircase on July 16, 1920.
Though the stained glass piece made it through the bombing of London during World War II intact, it suffered extensive damage when the Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated a series of explosives at the Baltic Exchange building in 1992. Of the 240 panels in the dome, only 45 remained intact. The remnants of the old building were demolished in 1998, but the stained glass lives on in a London Museum.
After the bombing, it took nearly a decade to bring back the windows to their former glory. As the Baltic Exchange was a maritime-based company, it was thought appropriate to display the windows in Greenwich. They have been on display on the second floor of the National Maritime Museum since 2005.