Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 18:32 UK

Discovery restoration completed

Discovery (pic: Undiscovered Scotland)
The wood and fixtures of the Discovery were suffering water damage

Two years of work to restore and protect the famous ship Discovery have been completed.

The hull of the Dundee tourist attraction was being damaged by water leaking in and the damp atmosphere.

But a £700,000 project has seen the vessel made water-tight and new information panels installed.

The RRS Discovery was built in Dundee and in 1901 set off for Antarctica with legendary explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton on board.

The restoration project saw the wood of the hull and deck reseamed using a traditional marine glue of oakum and tar.

Heating and ventilation systems were also installed to tackle the damp, which was damaging the wood and fixtures.

Mark Munsie, the Operations manager at Discovery Point, said: "The ship has a much better environment inside now, she's drier, the air quality is better and the big added benefit is that the area has been opened up so the public who visit can see more of the structure of the ship.

It's something we're quite rightly proud of - it's a five-star museum
Mark Munsie
Operations Director

"It has allowed us to put new interpretation panels into the ship so that everybody visiting can learn not just about the actual exploration into Antarctica and in fact all over the globe, but about how the ship is constructed, and how it was sailed, and how the people who were on it worked.

"So it's been a huge benefit to the ship itself, the fabric of the ship and also importantly to allow that interpretation to be given to people visiting."

The restoration of the vessel was helped by a grant of more than £500,000 from the National Lottery.

Mr Munsie told the BBC Scotland news website that it was vital the ship was protected.

"The vessel is iconic to Dundee," he said.

"Discovery was at the cutting edge not only of Polar exploration, but was also at the cutting edge of whale conservation later on in its life.

"It's also hugely important as an economic driver in the city. It's a major part of the tourist offer of the city and it's something we're quite rightly proud of - it's a five-star museum."

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