Royal MuseumThe main hall of the Royal Museum
- For other museums called the Royal Museum, see Royal Museum (disambiguation).
The Royal Museum is a museum on Chambers Street, in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is now known as the National Museum of Scotland and has been since 2007. It is part of the National Museums of Scotland, adjacent to the Museum of Scotland. Admission, other than for special temporary exhibitions, is free. The Royal Museum and the linked Museum of Scotland are collectively known as the National Museum of Scotland.
The museum contains artifacts from around the world, encompassing geology, archeology, natural history, science, technology and art. One of the more notable exhibits is Dolly the sheep, the first successful clone of a mammal from an adult cell. Other highlights include Ancient Egyptian exhibitions, one of Elton John's extravagant suits, a suspended whale skeleton and the Millennium clock. The wing which contains the aforementioned whale skeleton is temporarily closed for renovation, and will reopen in 2011.
The museum currently has an exhibit on Picasso ("Fired With Passion") for which an extra fee is charged. Another temporary gallery is the Ivy Wu gallery with exhibits of art and script for Japan, China and Korea which has been open from 2006 and will close in 2008.
History and architecture
Construction was started in 1861 and proceeded in phases, with some sections opening before others had even begun construction. The original extent of the building was completed in 1888. It was designed by Captain Francis Fowke of the Royal Engineers, who is also responsible for the Royal Albert Hall. The exterior, designed in a Venetian Renaissance style, contrasts sharply with the light flooded main hall, inspired by The Crystal Palace.
Initially, much of its collection came from the Museum of Edinburgh University; there is even a bridge connecting the museum to the University's Old College building. The students saw the collection as their own, and curators would often find the exhibits rearranged or even missing. The final straw came in the 1870s, when students who were holding a party found that the museum was also holding a reception for local dignitaries, and had stored refreshments in the bridge. When the museum found the refreshments missing, the bridge was bricked up the next day, as it has remained since.
External linksv • d • eMuseums and Art Galleriesof ScotlandNational Museums of Scotland
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