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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Museum 'will not re-open on time'
By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

The Ulster Museum
The revamp begins nearly a year after the museum closed
Work will begin later on the multi-million revamp of the Ulster Museum nearly a year after its doors closed to the public.

Bosses at the south Belfast museum have told BBC News the spring 2009 completion deadline will be missed.

They now hope to re-open the landmark building by June of that year.

The revamp will cost 15m, 3m more than initially envisaged, but it will be "an enhanced and expanded project".

The increase is being met through additional investment from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (2.2m) and approximately 1m raised through a fundraising initiative by National Museums Northern Ireland.

'Carefully packed'

A spokeswoman for National Museums Northern Ireland said after the museum's closure its "800,000 objects had to be carefully packed and documented and then transported to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum," but was unable to say when this process was completed.

The 'Hall of Wonders'
The revamped museum will include a 'Hall of Wonders'

She added that there been a two-month delay in appointing a contractor due to planning process complications.

The Ulster Museum is one of Northern Ireland's premier visitor attractions, welcoming 200,000 visitors each year.

Its revamp will result in, among other things, a display to be known as the 'Hall of Wonders' which will showcase some of the museum's best known artefacts.

There will also be additional gallery space and new interactive areas for art, history and science.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mark Worthington reports from the Ulster Museum



SEE ALSO
Museum doors close for renovation
02 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland
Museum to get 12m refurbishment
26 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland

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