England Travel


Re:Loaded is a special exhibition at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. It was interesting to see and I will share a few highlights from it. I would have to say that they could have done a better job with the descriptions, as we had to take a booklet with us to read the details about the guns on display. Also, to buy the booklet we had to give a donation and take the “please return after use” copy, which was a bit strange as well.


There were 45 items on display. It opened in December 2023 and it can be visited until 30 June this year. It is free. There are an array of weapons, both historic and rather new. Also, there are weapons from around the world.

detail of riffle

I love this detail on the riffle. The butt is adjustable, that intricate piece comes out. It is from Scotland and dates back to 1618.


This one is from Arabia, from 1885. It has an inscription with the owner and the date. I think this is stunning.


There is a bullet underneath the riffle, which is about half the size of a gun.


An American Colt, one of a few on display.



The rifle in the middle is from Iraq, from 1989. It is similar to a soviet sniper riffle, but coated in gold. On top is another riffle which was gold-plated from Iraq. Saddam Hussein gifted this kind of riffles to important people he wanted to impress. The Arabic term is Wasta, meaning nepotism.

butterfly riffle

Brutal to Beautiful is a gold-plated weapon which was captured from a war zone. The glass cartridges contain precious stones, as they wrote in the booklet ‘over which human life is gambled’.

sweets riffle

The same idea is used for this weapon. The one who created this artefact, Lost Innocence, talked with child soldiers from Sierra Leone. The sweets contain messages that these children told him. The bullets are ‘commodities wars are fought over’.

While many wars are about commodities, many others are about imperialism, or ideology/religion. We are now witnessing a genocidal imperialistic war unleashed by russia. There are commodities in Ukraine that definitely appeal to the russians, but it’s simplistic to look at the situation in this way. What the russians are doing now they did it before, in the 19th century and in the 18th century.

Overall the exhibition was interesting, despite the simplicity of some of the explanations, but is worth visiting.

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