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Morag Kinniburgh reports
"A Scottish Executive grant means an end to entrance charges"
 real 56k

Friday, 30 March, 2001, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Museums scrap entrance charges
Museum of Scotland
Entrance to the Museum of Scotland will be free
Two of Scotland's top museums are to scrap their entrance charges from Sunday.

The Royal Museum and Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh's Chambers Street will no longer charge for entrance after receiving a grant from the Scottish Executive.

But many other museums are angry they are being denied similar support and warn they may not be able to survive the foot-and-mouth crisis.

A grant from the Scottish Executive means they will no longer have to charge for admission to the national collections.

But other museums argue they deserve similar support.

Queen at Museum of Scotland
The Museum of Scotland was opened by the Queen in 1998
The Scottish Museums Council believes all collections of national importance should be free and says 340 museums around the country need more public investment.

Smaller rural museums fear they will go out of business if funding does not improve.

They say the foot and mouth crisis has decimated visitor numbers.

Many attractions open for the summer season this weekend.

They warn without better public support they may not survive the summer.

The moves comes as the National Museums of Scotland, which runs the Edinburgh museums, received 1m from a mystery benefactor.

National collections

No details have been disclosed about the mystery donor except that he or she is an American who has a fascination with Scottish history and is also a fan of the Museum of Scotland.

The Museum of Scotland, in Chambers Street, Edinburgh, is one of six public museum sites operated by the National Museum of Scotland (NMS).

It was opened by the Queen in 1998 and charts Scotland's history from its early beginnings to the present day.

The NMS is a trust created to manage Scotland's national collections of artefacts.

In addition to the Museum of Scotland, there is the Museum of Flight in East Lothian, the Museum of Scottish Country Life, The National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle, and the Shambellie House Museum of Costume in Dumfriesshire.

There is also the Royal Museum which houses the international collections and has 36 galleries containing artefacts from round the globe and natural history specimens.

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See also:

29 Mar 01 | Scotland
Museums' mystery cash donation
23 Mar 01 | Scotland
Glasgow renews museum aid plea
24 Jan 01 | Scotland
Aid plea for Glasgow museums
26 Oct 00 | Scotland
Museums face funding 'crisis'
23 Aug 99 | Scotland
Peace caravan becomes museum piece
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