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Thursday, August 04, 2011

National Museum Attracts 100,000 visitors

Located in the heart of Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland has undergone a £46.4 million major redevelopment, which has transformed it into a world class 21st century experience.


The newly redeveloped Museum has attracted over 100,000 visitors in the first six days since it opened to the public last Friday morning.


Prior to opening, Museum staff predicted they might achieve the 100,000 mark within two weeks of opening, but that target was smashed in less than half the time expected, with the first week’s tally expected to reach around 120,000. Visitors have come from far and near, with locals and families well-represented in addition to increasing volumes of tourists arriving for the Edinburgh Festivals.


Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland, said:

“The number of visitors we have had so far is absolutely fantastic. We were always confident that there would be a high level of interest in our transformed Museum, but to get over 100,000 people in less than a week really has surpassed all of our expectations.”


The Museum reopened last Friday, 29 July, after a major three-year redevelopment. A spectacular opening ceremony on Chambers Street was followed by nearly 6,000 people passing through the doors in the first hour of opening. In all, 22,000 visitors packed the Museum on the opening day – over double the amount expected - and there has been a constant stream of visitors ever since.


The Natural World galleries, including animals such as the life-sized T. rex, a great white shark and giraffe, and the Discoveries gallery, featuring the Millennium Clock in addition to the world’s oldest surviving colour television and Alexander Fleming’s Nobel Prize medal are proving extremely popular. 


The new development will be open for corporate events from October 2011 and includes a new street level floor, a café and restaurant, 16 inspiring new galleries and a stunning Grand Gallery.

The central defining feature of the National Museum of Scotland, the Grand Gallery's soaring, light-filled atrium is a unique example of Victorian architecture. Housing large-scale objects that highlight Scotland’s contribution to the world, the magnificent space will be capable of hosting a gala dinner for 850 people.


Other facilities include Hawthornden Court, which can cater for receptions up to 750 and gala dinners for 120, and the Board and Bute Rooms for meetings for up to 50.



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