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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 05:50 GMT 06:50 UK
Museum doors close for renovation
Charlotte Minne, 5, and Reuben McLean, 4,
Charlotte Minne, 5, and Reuben McLean, 4, enjoy an exhibit
The Ulster Museum has opened its doors to the public for the last time until 2009 as it closes for a 12m major redevelopment.

A special farewell event on Sunday ensured the exhibits were seen off in style before being placed in storage.

Museum experts were on hand to assist visitors, young and old, who turned up for a last look at the well-loved treasures in the Belfast institution.

The museum will continue its outreach work during the 30-month closure.

Activities held on Sunday included the chance for children to construct an Egyptian-style mummy using their own family members and miles of toilet paper.

Younger historians could take part in fossil-casting and a fossil lucky dip as well as animal face-painting.

Curators were on hand to explain popular objects from the fashion, sculpture, zoology, ethnology, and painting collections.

'User-friendly'

Tim Cooke, chief executive of National Museums Northern Ireland, which runs the Ulster Museum, said about 200,000 visitors came each year.

"Once this 12m project is completed, the Ulster Museum will be on a par with other museums on the international stage and the public can look forward to a much more interactive, user-friendly museum," he said.

Vintage car
The museum will continue its work with schools
"We have designed an extensive outreach programme which will involve our staff taking the work of the museum out and about, working in partnership with other organisations and communities so that the museum can continue to engage with our audiences."

The redevelopment project will include a new entrance and arrivals space, with a 'Hall of Wonders', the transformation of the museum's history and natural science galleries and a new rooftop gallery.

A cafe and restaurant will be created on the ground floor overlooking Botanic Gardens.




SEE ALSO
Museum says farewell for a while
28 Sep 06 |  Northern Ireland
Museum to get 12m refurbishment
26 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland

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