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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 19:41 GMT
Princess Royal opens war museum
Visitors at the Cold War exhibition
Seventeen aircraft are displayed in a new building
An exhibition dedicated to telling the story of the Cold War has been opened by the Princess Royal.

The 12m museum at the Royal Air Force Museum at RAF Cosford in Shropshire features military hardware as well as memorabilia from the era.

Highlights include V-bomber aircraft, a section of the Berlin Wall, postcards sent across the Iron Curtain, a statue of Lenin and life-size Russian dolls.

Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher was also at the official opening.

The museum said the exhibition was the first of its kind in the UK.

Seventeen aircraft, including Britain's three V-bombers - the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant - and the Lightning, are displayed in a new building which covers more than 7,000 square metres.

Most of the exhibits have come from the RAF, Royal Navy and the Army but some of the new material was bought on eBay, including a Trabant car from Eastern Europe.

Baroness Thatcher at RAF Cosford
Baroness Thatcher was given a tour of the exhibits

The Princess told guests that the exhibition was "truly outstanding".

She said: "It's a really curious thing to have a war which had in fact a beginning and an end which were so far apart.

"I think we owe all the trustees and sponsors a debt of gratitude for the way in which the exhibition has been put together.

"I hope that many will take the opportunity to come to... extend the knowledge of a period which was difficult to understand at the time and if we are not careful will disappear very quickly with even less understanding."

Lady Thatcher was at the ceremony


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