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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Museum's revamp for culture city
World Museum Liverpool
The former Liverpool Museum has doubled in size
A Liverpool museum has undergone a 35m facelift to help put the city on the map in time for its year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The former Liverpool Museum has expanded to nearly twice its size and been renamed World Museum Liverpool.

Visitors will be able to see the new World Culture gallery, a new aquarium and a "Bug House" with giant model insects when it opens on Friday.

The building also has a new ground level entrance and glass-topped atrium.

The museum sees the launch of a new Weston Discovery Centre, Clore Natural History Centre and Treasure House Theatre.

Aquarium at World Museum Liverpool
The aquarium opens to the public on Friday
John Millard, museum keeper, says the exhibits "cover millions of years, around the world and into space."

"It's a huge expansion for the museum and I hope people will find not only lots to see and get excited about, but also lots to do in the new museum."

The World Cultures area is in the former Upper Horseshoe Gallery, which has not been open to the public since the old museum was destroyed in the May 1941 bombing.

The hands-on approach of the Treasure House Theatre will see music and dance performances linked to current exhibitions, as well as the chance to link up via video to lectures from around the world.

The museum's launch marks the end of the 45m development of all three National Museums Liverpool venues, the Museum of Liverpool Life, Walker Art Gallery and Liverpool Museum.

The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Objective One Programme for Merseyside and the North West Regional Development Agency.

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