IT boasts an impressive collection of more than 8500 pieces – including paintings, drawings, sculptures and textiles.
Now children from an Edinburgh primary have the chance to see their artistic contribution to a nationwide campaign displayed in the House of Commons, alongside portraits of kings, queens and former prime ministers.
The creations, by youngsters from Preston Street Primary, will feature in an exhibition in the Upper Gallery from Wednesday.
Two pupils – James Kerr and Eduard Stoica – are going to London, along with their headteacher Ann Moore, for the opening event, which will be attended by the Prime Minister.
Ms Moore said: “It’s very exciting and lovely for the children. David Cameron is supposed to be speaking at the event, so one of the boys is taking his autograph book down with him.”
The artwork of the school’s primary five pupils was selected to go on display in the exhibition following a project they ran as part of the annual “Send My Friend” campaign, which wants the government to ensure every child can go to school, no matter where they live in the world.
The youngsters focused on the “Send my Sister to School” initiative, which aims to highlight the fact that millions more girls than boys are missing out on an education in the developing world.
They came up with informative poster designs raising awareness of the issue – which are the ones going on display in the exhibition – and also wrote letters, spoke to family members and held assemblies for fellow pupils to get the message across.
Ms Moore said: “The pupils are absolutely over the moon about having their work displayed in the exhibition.
“It shows them the work they have put into this project is not just being ignored.
“The fact this is being recognised at such a high level is really important as it shows children they can have a say in things and that adults listen to them.
“I know this is an exceptional case, but it does make the children feel valued.
“The project has given pupils a feeling of empowerment and given them a chance to explore an issue they have become very passionate about.”
The pupils who will be joining Ms Moore on the trip to London will also be treated to a trip on the London Eye and an overnight stay in a hotel.
Primary six pupil James, who is one of the lucky pupils chosen to go to London, said: “I thought the project was good and I didn’t know before how many children didn’t go to school.
“I feel very excited and very proud [about the exhibition] and I hope that everyone is going to enjoy it.”