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Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Peterborough's museum is on the move in 2011
Artist's impression of new wildlife gallery, Peterborough Museum
Artist's impression of how the museum's new wildlife gallery will look in 2012

On Christmas Eve 2010 Peterborough Museum closed its doors to the public for a year.

However the museum's thousands of regular visitors will still be able to get their history fix.

Throughout 2011 staff will take a rolling programme of displays, activities and exhibitions on the road.

In the meantime, £3.2m will be spent on modernising the Grade II listed Georgian building, to make a city museum fit for the 21st Century.

"We will be spending the first three or four months actually moving the collections out of the museum," explained Stuart Orme, the museum's historic interpretation manager.

Then the builders move in.

'Period decor'

Exterior of Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery
This building will be closed but exhibitions will continue in the city

It is housed in a beautiful building on one of Peterborough's oldest streets, Priestgate.

The museum was built as a home, but for most of its life it has been an institution, first a hospital from the 1850s and then it was transformed into a museum in the 1930s.

This has taken its toll, and woodchip wallpaper abounds.

"We're going back to a period decor representing the different stages of the building's history," said Stuart. "So it's back to the Georgian house, which of course is the core of the building, and the Victorian hospital."

In between carefully packing up around 200,000 objects, staff will also be organising a programme of exhibitions throughout Peterborough to keep the museum in the public eye.

The plans include a mini museum in Peterborough's central library, and a pop-up museum, showcasing some of its collections in unexpected places.

Archaeological finds can be taken to the central library for assessment.

But not everything is changing.

The museum has run extremely popular and over-subscribed heritage and ghost walking tours for a number of years.

They will continue. Visitors just need to check the website to find out when they are running.

Vivacity, the cultural trust which runs the museum, hopes it will reopen to the public in early 2012.

Click here for more information on how Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery will be transformed:

New look for Peterborough Museum
23 Jul 10 |  History
Stepping back to the Middle Ages
26 May 10 |  History
Face of city to use 3,000 photos
11 Dec 09 |  Arts & Culture
Play keeps audience on its toes
30 Jun 09 |  England
Iron Age sword discovered again
29 Aug 07 |  Cambridgeshire


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