Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Monday, 26 October 2009

Museum change disappoints dozens

Tim Cooke,CEO of National Museums of Northern Ireland
Tim Cooke said the popularity of the museum had not faded

Dozens of visitors turned up to the newly reopened Ulster Museum in Belfast on Monday unaware that it no longer opens on Mondays.

National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) announced last month that the museum would not open on Mondays to allow longer weekend opening hours.

The details were also publicised on the museum's website.

More than 16,000 people have visited the museum in the days following its reopening.

It reopened on 22 October after closing in 2006 to allow a £17m renovation to take place.

NMNI said the opening hours are designed to match visitor demand and reflect the changing pattern of museum visits within the United Kingdom and more widely.

The museum will still open on bank holiday Mondays.

NMNI Director Tim Cooke said the popularity of the museum "has not faded during the three years closure".

The museum is headlining its reopening with a major exhibition by Irish-born artist Sean Scully,

It will run until February 2010.

The museum now features a dramatic new 23 metre high atrium

The refurbished museum now has 1,200 square metres extra exhibition space.

The refurbishment includes new art, history and science galleries together with interactive discovery zones, and a new Window on our World display tower.

The museum's more familiar artefacts, such as the Egyptian mummy Takabuti and the Bann disc, are also on show in revamped displays.

On Monday, Mr Cooke said: "People from across Northern Ireland and hundreds of international visitors have been pouring in to see for themselves the magnificent new Ulster Museum.

"I am thrilled and encouraged by the extremely positive reaction we have been receiving."

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