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A "Big Birthday Bash" is being held tomorrow to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Scotland's oldest public museum. The newly refurbished Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University will open its doors at 9.30am, when the emphasis will be on fun for kids with a free day-long programme of music, magic, face painting and clowns.

The Hunterian, which has been closed for the past seven months, has been redesigned to make its extensive collections more accessible to the public and more attractive as a school learning resource.

The museum's main hall has been divided into 11 subject areas, such as Dinosaurs, Animal Archi-tecture and World Culture. Among the displays are those that demonstrate evolution on Earth, from fossil fish to creatures of the land and air, archaeological excavation and how birds, wasps and ants build their homes.

Highlights include meteorites and diamonds, the world's smallest dinosaur footprint, a stuffed extinct Tasmanian wolf and the internationally famous 2,000-year-old portrait coin of Cleopatra.

The entrance gallery features new displays on the life and work of Dr William Hunter, whose legacies to the university allowed the museum to be founded, and "Weird and Wonderful" objects from the collections, among them Robert the Bruce's toe-bone and a full-size elephant skeleton.

The Roman altars, tombstones, figures and distance slabs, all found in Scotland at the Antonine Wall, are displayed in the main hall until next year, when they will be moved to the university's Antonine Wall Interpretation Centre.

The interactive Lord Kelvin and Healing Passion exhibitions, which focus on the history of science and medicine, were installed at the Hunterian recently and remain in the upper gallery.

For more information about the museum and education programme: www.hunterian.gla.co.uk

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