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The ultimate kids' museum

If children were allowed to design their own museum, what would it contain? Click on the image below to find out.

The National Museum Directors' Conference (NMDC) invited the UK's 32 national museums and galleries to ask children aged 11-18 to nominate their favourite museum pieces. Details of 12 of the 75 nominated pieces can be found below.

MummyPirate swordGuy Fawkes lanternDolly the sheepApollo Command ModuleSkull from the wall of skullsVictoria CrossWallace and GromitLobster TelephoneGold coinsDiplodocus skeleton

Drawing © Quentin Blake

Apollo 10 at the science museum

A real life spaceship is on display at London's Science Museum. Before landing in the museum, it took three astronauts to the moon and back in May 1969. The mission was a trial run for Apollo 11's moon landing two months later.

The module bears the scars of the extra-terrestrial journey - its heat shield has scorch marks from the fiery return through Earth's atmosphere.

Dolly the sheep

Dolly made headlines in 1997 as the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. She was born at the Roslin Institute just outside Edinburgh, on 5 July 1996. When the successful clone was revealed to the public it was heralded as one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of the decade.

After her death, dolly was stuffed and is now on display in the National Museum of Scotland.

Mummy of Cleopatra

The mummy now entombed in the British Museum is of a young girl who is believed to have died 150 years after her more famous namesake Queen Cleopatra VII.

An inscription on her coffin states that this Cleopatra was the daughter of an important official at Thebes at the time of the Emperor Trajan, who reigned from 98-117 AD.

X-rays of the body have shown that under the loose exterior bandaging, the body was so tightly bound that the left hip had been dislocated.

Wallace and Gromit

Wallace and Gromit's animated antics are a favourite with children and the same seems to go for the model of the pair riding motorcycle and sidecar that is on display at the National Media Museum in Bradford.

Made for the museum by Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations, the scene comes from 1995 film A Close Shave in which the famous man and dog combo run a window-cleaning business.

Diplodocus skeleton

The 26-metre Diplodocus skeleton, affectionately known as Dippy, is an icon of the Natural History Museum and has been on display there for more than 100 years.

The first bone of the long-necked dinosaur was found in 1898 in the US state of Wyoming. It caught the attention of Scottish-born millionaire Andrew Carnegie, who assembled the entire skeleton in Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

On hearing of the Diplodocus, the then Prince of Wales, soon to become King Edward VII, suggested a replica could be built, and Carnegie paid for one to be made himself. It was shipped in 36 crates and was unveiled in the Reptile Hall of the museum in 1905.

Gold coins

The gold coins on display at the Museum of London date from 65-174 AD.

They were found in a box under the floor of a wealthy Roman Londoner's house during excavations in 1999. The coins would not have been in normal circulation, as each was worth the equivalent of a Roman soldier's monthly wage.

Jack Cornwell's VC

Boy 1st Class John Travers Cornwell was a Navy sailor during World War I aboard HMS Chester. Aged just 16, he was hit in the chest with shrapnel when guns at the forecastle of the warship received a direct hit during the Battle of Jutland.

He remained at his post, awaiting orders, until the boat was disengaged. His wounds were treated, but he died two days later. After an ordinary burial the story of his heroism emerged and he was exhumed, given a full naval burial and awarded the Victoria Cross.

Golden Nimcha

According to his family's tradition, the Golden Nimcha pirate sword was acquired by Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Hopsonn in the 1670s, when he caught it mid-air as it tried to kill him. He apparently wrenched the sabre from a pirate's hand and immediately slew the unfortunate corsair with his own weapon.

The sword is now safely displayed at the National Maritime Museum.

Huy Fawkes' lantern

Guy Fawkes is said to have been carrying the lantern, which is now on display in Oxford's Ashmolean museum, on his arrest in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament when the Gunpowder Plot was rumbled in 1605.

Made from sheet iron, it is designed with a cylinder inside, which when rotated conceals the candle light and its carrier. The lantern was originally given to the University of Oxford in 1641 by Robert Heywood of Brasenose College, the son of the Justice of the Peace who arrested Guy Fawkes.

The Feast of Herod by Peter Paul Rubens

Flemish baroque era painter Peter Paul Rubens' Feast of Herod in the National Galleries of Scotland, depicts the Biblical story of the beheading of John the Baptist.

In the story, Herodias' daughter Salome danced so beautifully for Herod that he granted her any wish - up to half his kingdom. On her mother's instruction she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a plate.

Lobster Telephone

Salvador Dali's surreal Lobster Telephone was made for art collector Edward James in 1936 and is now in the Tate Modern.

Dali believed that his unexpected conjunctions of objects could reveal the unconscious desires of those who saw them.

Wall of Skulls

The wall of skulls at the National Museum of Wales traces the final 3.5 million years of human evolution, as current evidence suggests it took place, through the skulls of our ancient ancestors.

At the top of the wall, the final skull is that of Homo Sapien, the wise man.

Which museum piece would you like to see in the ultimate kids' museum? Let us know using the form below.

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The Lewes Chessmen, they are so full of humour and fun
Bob, Brighton

As a child we went often to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. My brother and I loved the 'shrunken heads' and they were the stars in a museum full of great items for kids.
Anne R., Reading, UK

No children's museum would be complete without a Dinosaur exhibition - skeletons etc., something like a T-Rex for example. There's a great one in the Natural History Museum (Not a T-Rex but very impressive!)
Adrian Fry, Bristol

Silver stoppered bottle with a witch inside from the collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum (newly opened) Oxford
Sian Wainwright, Mixbury

The Black Arrow rocket from the Science Museum together with the Black Knight rocket and Blue Streak missile from the William Brown Street Museum in Liverpool. I'd display them in the way the National Space Centre is displaying the on-loan Blue Streak - upright in launch position so that kids can get a real idea of the size of these things.
Nik Whitehead, Iceland

The Egyptian exhibition from Bristol Museum or one of the skeletons of ancient sea monsters
Kathryn, Swindon

As a child I used to get especially excited by the very early aeroplanes (from the early 1900s) on display in the Science Museum. Other favourite pieces were the Royal Train in the York Railway museum, and the doll's house in Windsor Castle.
Sarah, Amersham, UK

The Silver Swan at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham.
P A Nicholson, Goring By Sea West Sussex

Florence Nightingale's lamp or owl, Athena.
CJ Pilcher-Morris, Hereford

A dalek.
Jane Davis, Sutton, Surrey

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