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Thursday, 12 October, 2000, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Royals open Lowry centre
The Queen with Lowry
The Queen admires Lowry's work
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have opened Manchester's new multi-cultural arts centre, The Lowry.

The 106m art and theatre centre in Salford Quays was opened to the public by Culture Secretary Chris Smith in April.

It houses the world's largest collection of paintings by LS Lowry, Salford's most famous son.

The centre, which includes two theatres, an interactive gallery and cafes, art shops and restaurants, is in what was once an area of massive industrial decline.

Salford centre
Salford's new Lowry centre aims to regenerate city
It is hoped the development will lead to the regeneration of one of the UK's poorest cities.

The Queen spoke to local schoolchildren who mounted an exhibition of their photographs about life in Salford.

Fifty-five paintings and 278 drawings by Lowry, famous for his matchstick figures, will be displayed by rotation at the centre and up to 100 will be on show at a time.

Among them is Going to the Match, which broke the record for modern art when it was sold to the Football Association at Sotheby's for 1,926,500 last December.

The Lowry is the first of several landmark projects aimed at regenerating the local area.

It is hoped it will attract more than two million people a year.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh met staff and visitors to the centre.

They paused to admire the famous depictions of northern industrial landscapes.

The royal visit went ahead despite the centre being hit by tragedy last week when its head of arts, Lea Parkinson, 32, fell 150 feet to his death from the building's roof.

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28 Apr 00 | UK
Lowry gallery opens
27 Apr 00 | UK
Salford's most famous son
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