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National Museum of Scotland to benefit from £1M grant to help create two new galleries


National Museums Scotland has announced that the National Lottery has confirmed a £1,071,900 grant which will allow the completion of the fourth stage of its Masterplan transformation.

The grant supports a £3.3 million project which will create two new galleries displaying National Museums Scotland’s internationally important collections of Ancient Egyptian and East Asian material, together with a programme of activities across Scotland.

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Confirmation of this major award means that £2.3 million of funding is now in place for the project, and a campaign is underway to secure the final £1 million from private sources.

The new galleries

The new galleries will explore the remarkable cultural heritage of Ancient Egypt and East Asia. Showcasing over 1,200 objects, 40 percent of which have never been on display in over a generation, the galleries will be created in spaces within the National Museum which have previously not been accessible to the public. They are due to open in early 2019.

The development is the final stage of an £80 million Masterplan to restore the  Victorian building to its former grandeur, reveal the treasures of National Museums Scotland’s collections and create 'inspiring visitor experiences'. 

Ancient Egypt rediscovered

The Ancient Egypt Rediscovered gallery will present the remarkable culture and achievements of the ancient Egyptians, highlighting individual stories to give a sense of their values and personal lives. The displays will showcase the depth and breadth of National Museums’ Ancient Egypt material which is the result of over 150 years of collecting.

Exploring East Asia

National Museums Scotland has one of the most significant East Asia collections in the United Kingdom, representing the three major cultures of the region: China, Japan, and Korea. The Exploring East Asia gallery will present a unique perspective on East Asia, enabling visitors to explore and contrast the diverse traditions, peoples and histories of these three fascinating and dynamic cultures.

The new galleries will display a wide range of items including:

  • the Qurna burial, the only intact royal burial group outside of Egypt
  • a gold ring which belonged to Queen Nefertiti
  • a unique double coffin of two half-brothers, Petamun and Penhorpabik
  • a Chinese lacquerware rice measure from the Ming dynasty
  • a Japanese woodblock print of the celebrated Kabuki actor, Ichikawa Ebizo V
  • a rare and important early survival Korean lotus-shaped cup and stand from the 13th century

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland said: “We are delighted that The National Lottery has confirmed this funding which will help enable us to complete our ambitious 15-year Masterplan to redevelop the Victorian National Museum of Scotland. In addition to creating two new galleries to showcase our world-class collections of Ancient Egyptian and East Asian material, we will also develop an extensive National Programme, extending the reach and the impact of these collections across Scotland.”

(images copyright National Museums Scotland)

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