Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 11:10 UK

Opening day for flagship museum

Great North Museum: Hancock
The museum's galleries feature hundreds of displays

A flagship £26m museum on Tyneside has opened to the public.

Newcastle's Great North Museum has brought together collections from a number of museums in the city.

The Heritage Lottery Fund-backed attraction is home to internationally important items of archaeology, natural history and geology.

Designed by Newcastle architect Sir Terry Farrell, it took three years to build on the site of the Hancock Museum. It opened on Saturday.

Project manager Steve McLean said: "The Hancock Museum closed its doors three years ago to undergo this fantastic transformation.

"People will recognise the famous Hancock facade but the refurbished interior and impressive extension are all brand new.

"The Great North Museum charts 500 million years of natural and human evolution, bringing to life the history of our planet and its people through breathtaking displays of world-class treasures."

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