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11 Feb 2019

National Museum of Scotland completes 15-year £80m regeneration
BY Andy Knaggs

A museum conservator cleans a statue of Weituo, the leading guardian of Buddhist faith and teachings

A museum conservator cleans a statue of Weituo, the leading guardian of Buddhist faith and teachings
photo: Neil Hanna/NMS/PA

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh has completed the final phase of an £80m (US$103.5m, €91.3m) transformation, leading to what it says is the “creation of a world-class museum”.

The 15-year redevelopment project was completed with the opening of three new galleries displaying more than 1,300 objects exploring the cultural heritage of ancient Egypt and East Asia and the diversity of ceramics. 40 per cent of the objects are going on display for the first time “in generations”, the museum said.

Funding from the National Lottery, as well as from The Wolfson Foundation, the Sir James Miller Edinburgh Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Negaunee Foundation and a community of Trusts and individual donors helped to deliver the final phase, which cost £3.6m (US$4.66, €4.11m).

According to the National Museum of Scotland, all three of the new galleries "present internationally significant collections in compelling and inspiring ways". Exhibits include items such as a Chinese lacquerware rice measure from the Ming Dynasty, samurai armour, a rare Korean lotus-shaped cup and stand from the 13th Century, and an ancient Greek vase decorated with wrestlers, dating from around 475 to 450 BC.

Bruce Minto, chair of National Museums Scotland, which owns the National Museum of Scotland, said: "This is a truly historic moment in the life of a great museum. The transformation of this iconic Victorian building on time and on budget is an achievement of which the nation can be rightly proud.

"Our outstanding collections help us to tell a vast range of diverse and fascinating stories from across the globe, highlighting the many Scots involved in invention, innovation and discovery. These stories have engaged with our many supporters, who have given generously to help us achieve our ambitions, and to whom I am extremely grateful."



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