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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 18:13 GMT
Museum heading for dusting down
Royal Museum East Wing
The plans show a state-of-the-art museum complex
A 70m plan has been unveiled to take the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh into the 21st century.

The 15-year project to re-design the Victorian building will provide better access and is intended to create a world-class visitor attraction.

The overhaul is aimed at transforming the 115-year-old landmark into a museum offering interactive exhibitions.

The number of artefacts on display will also be doubled and is expected to take 15 years to complete.

The Royal Museum forms one of the biggest sites of its kind in the UK.

Interactive science

Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of the National Museums of Scotland, said: "Significant work is now needed to bring the museum up to 21st century standards, both to care properly for our national collections and to provide the facilities and experience expected by today's and tomorrow's visitors.

"Potential exhibition space is currently given over to storage, displays have become dated and the building has poor access throughout.

"The Royal Museum masterplan presents an exciting vision for a world-class museums service of the future.

"With the support of our partners and stakeholders I know we can create one of the great international museum complexes here in Scotland - a true window on the world."

The first phase of the makeover, a 1m interactive science and technology gallery, is due to open in March 2006.

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