National Museum of Scotland completes £80m renovation

The National Museum of Scotland’s £80 million renovation project is complete, with new public spaces set to open today.

The final phase of the transformation will see three new galleries open to the public. They are Ancient Egypt Rediscovered, Exploring East Asia and the Art of Ceramics.

The 15-year project has revealed more treasures from the collection – including items from ancient Egypt and East Asia – that were previously not on display. More than 1,300 objects have been selected, 40% of which are going on display for the first time in generations.

As reported in the Western Telegraph, Bruce Minto, chairman of National Museums Scotland (NMS), 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 our many supporters who have given generously to help us achieve our ambitions and to whom I am extremely grateful.”

In Ancient Egypt Rediscovered, guests can explore the only intact royal burial group outside of Egypt. The exhibit also features the only double coffin ever discovered in Egypt, as well as a decorative box of King Amenhotep II.

In the Exploring East Asia gallery, visitors will see a Chinese lacquerware rice measure from the Ming dynasty, samurai armour and a Korean lotus-shaped cup from the 13th century.

Finally, the Art of Ceramics gallery features pieces from across the world, from the 19th century BC to the 21st century AD, including an ancient Greek vase decorated with wrestlers, and a porcelain alcohol ewer from the Qing dynasty.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of NMS, said: “Over the past 15 years we have worked tirelessly to transform this wonderful building, to rediscover our extensive and outstanding collections and to create fresh and inspirational visitor experiences.

“The result is the creation of a world-class museum for the enjoyment of national and international visitors today and for many generations to come.”

Image courtesy Maccoinnich via Wikicommons

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