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Treasures will shine at museum

Heritage Lottery money will mean new exhibits and more showcases. Douglas Blane reports

Heritage Lottery money will mean new exhibits and more showcases. Douglas Blane reports

The National Museum of Scotland has just been awarded a first-round pass for a grant of pound;4.85 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund - which means that many more of Scotland's treasures are likely to be coming out of storage to be seen for the first time by the general public.

The chances of getting the grant are now high, although second-round applications are still competitive and no money is set aside at this stage.

The museum's plan is to create eight new galleries that will showcase its science and technology and European art and design collections. The total project will cost pound;11.85 million.

The displays will include internationally important items that "will champion excellence and innovation, offering an inspirational resource for the scientists, engineers, artists and designers of tomorrow," said a spokesperson for the museum.

Featuring dramatic design, multimedia and interactivity, the new exhibits will include a decorative plate by the arts and crafts ceramicist William de Morgan.

On the science side, visitors will get to see the world's first pneumatic tyre, invented by John Boyd Dunlop, and the Nobel Prize gold medal awarded to the University of Glasgow's Sir James Black for his discovery of beta blockers and the first drug treatment for stomach ulcers.

National Museums Scotland will now work with individuals, trusts, foundations and the corporate sector to secure the remaining funds needed to complete the project. The National Museum of Scotland is already one of the world's great museums, says director Gordon Rintoul. "This investment will further enhance its appeal and international importance."

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