Public sees revamped National Museum of Scotland for first time

Charlotte Hancock and Holly Neary, both seven, enjoy the opening. Picture: Julie Bull
Charlotte Hancock and Holly Neary, both seven, enjoy the opening. Picture: Julie Bull
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THOUSANDS flocked to the National Museum of Scotland to celebrate the unveiling of ten new galleries following a £14 million revamp.

The new facilities – which showcase world-leading inventors, scientists, medical pioneers, artists and fashion designers – opened to the public for the first time yesterday.

Nicol Ogston, 
Angela Giancola and Andrew Byrne dress for the occasion. Picture: Julie Bull

Nicol Ogston, Angela Giancola and Andrew Byrne dress for the occasion. Picture: Julie Bull

The move will see more than 3000 objects brought under the one roof – three-quarters of which are either going on display for the first time in a generation or have never been seen before.

A day of celebrations saw crowds gather in Chambers Street to mark the opening with a fireworks display set off by three-year-old Liam Wallace.

Entertainment on the new public piazza outside the museum included performances from the Boghall and Bathgate Pipe Band, drummers from the Beltane Fire Society and samba band Animo.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of the museum, said: “It is great to be able to share these new galleries with our visitors.

“The reactions have been hugely positive from people of all ages. We look forward to a busy summer ahead as the people of Edinburgh and the many visitors to the city come to see these dramatic, engaging and inspiring new displays.”

The ten new galleries are the latest phase in a 15-year, 
£80 million plan to regenerate the museum and showcase its world-class collections.

The final phase, due to be completed by 2018, will see new displays created for Ancient Egypt and East Asian treasures. Current highlights include Britain’s oldest aircraft and its first ever motorbike.