Friday, July 29, 2011

Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

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Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

  • Ground floor
  • First floor
  • Second floor
  • Top floor

The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

Filed under: Uncategorized
No Comments
  • 26Sep ">
    National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment
  • Friday, July 29, 2011

    Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 11
    • 12

    Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

    The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

    On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

    The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

    Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

    Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

    Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

    Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

    The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

    Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

    McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

    The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

    The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

    The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

    On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3

    Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

    Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

    Selection of views of the Grand GalleryImage: Brian McNeil.

    Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

    The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

    The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

    Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

    So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

    The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

    The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

    • Ground floor
    • First floor
    • Second floor
    • Top floor

    The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

    The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

    The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

    Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

    The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

    Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

    The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

    Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

    The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5

    At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

    Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

    The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

    Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

    In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

    Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

    Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

    The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

    The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

    Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

    What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

    This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

    Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

    The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

    Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

    Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

    Filed under: Uncategorized
    No Comments
  • 12Apr

    Diamond Engagement Ring Makes Beloved Feel Happy and Valued

    by

    Its Hot

    When you are unable to express your love and words fall short, then you can turn to the most dearly as well as romantic way of exhibiting your love. For proposing your girl friend, there won’t be a romantic thing than a unique diamond engagement ring. The ring has been considered as a perfect gift for engagement as it exhibits eternal love, strong commitment and long lasting relationship. Worn by a woman in her left hand s ring finger, the ring indicates for being engaged for marriage. It is worn in the specific finger as the vein from this finger directly reaches to the heart. The dazzling gift is a great way to commence your new life and further strengthen your married life.

    Determining your diamond

    It is pertinent to determine the quality of the diamonds you are going to purchase. While purchasing diamond stud materials, you need to consider the 4C’s. The 4 Cs include cut, clarity, color and carat. After it, you also need to realize whether the ring that you are going to purchase will suit the personality of your beloved. In fact, there are a number of things to consider. Along with the body structure and height, you also need to ponder types of dress generally she wears and kind of work environment she works in.

    Other diamond stud ornaments

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    Apart from diamond engagement rings, there are a number of other diamond stud ornaments available in the online as well as offline market. Some of the product lines come up in a wide array of styles and designs include:

    Watches

    Necklaces

    Bracelets

    Earrings

    Chains

    Pendants

    Custom diamond engagement rings

    Buying diamond engagement rings from online jewelry stores

    The online market is flooded with a number of online jewelry stores selling their products and services at cost effective rates. Comes in various colors, shapes and sizes, you can purchase diamond ring according to your budget. If you are economically sound, then you can consider the crystal clear diamond. Buy diamond stud ornaments after logging on to any certified online jewelry store. Reputed and established online jewelry stores comprise of an extensive selection of diamond rings including diamond engagement rings, diamond anniversary rings, diamond wedding rings, diamond necklace, diamond earrings, diamond pendants and so on.

    ItsHot.com is your one-stop-shop for all types of diamond items,

    Diamond Wedding rings

    and jewelry shopping needs. We specialize in manufacturing and wholesale of high-end fine diamond jewelry and

    Diamond Engagement rings

    with the best customer services.

    Article Source:

    ArticleRich.com

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  • 12Apr

    Sunday, September 6, 2009 

    24-year-old Aman Kassaye, of no fixed abode, is to face a charge of attempted murder for his alleged role in an armed robbery that netted £40 million ($65 million) worth of jewelry from a London store.

    Kassaye is the seventh man to be charged, and is also facing prosecution for conspiracy to rob the Graff store in New Bond Street, false imprisonment, and using a handgun to resist arrest. He will appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on Monday.

    The other six men have already been remanded in custody until October 23, when they will appear at Kingston Crown Court. All are facing charges of conspiracy to rob, and two of them are also charged with a firearms offense.

    43 diamond rings, watches, and bracelets were taken from the store. The theft occurred when two armed and suited men walked in and took an employee hostage. It has been reported they used prosthetic masks made from liquid latex but police have not confirmed this. Amateur footage also shows a shot was fired. No-one was injured.

    The robbery is one of the biggest the United Kingdom has seen. After the crime a string of getaway vehicles was used, with police believing several more offenders assisted with this stage of the plan. Although The Telegraph claims no stolen property has yet been recovered, this is also unconfirmed by police.

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  • 12Apr

    Monday, July 16, 2007 

    In two separate incidents, men posing as members of the New York Police Department (NYPD), have invaded homes in the New York City area. In both cases, they robbed the residents, but in the most recent, they sexually assaulted a woman.

    On Saturday, July 14, at 1:09 a.m. EDT (UTC-4), four men knocked on the door of a Yonkers, New York, apartment. The 33-year-old male that lives there opened the door, as the men outside wore NYPD hats and t-shirts, and had badges hanging around their necks.

    The men promptly ordered the male victim to the floor. “When this guy pushed me, he had a gun in my face,” the victim said. “I could see the other guy. He motioned to the others, come on, let’s go, let’s go.” The intruders shouted “Where are the drugs?” as they ransacked the apartment.

    Two of the men entered the bedroom and sexually assaulted the 30-year-old female. The couple has a five-year-old child, who was sleeping in another bedroom. “The more I resisted, the more he began to hit me,” the woman said. She said she was sexually assaulted by two of the men while her boyfriend was bound and guarded.

    Police said the men then left with a cell phone, a laptop computer, a diamond ring and a gold chain. Police do not believe that they were real officers. As of this afternoon, no arrests have been made.

    On Thursday, July 5, shortly after six p.m. in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn five men knocked on the door claiming to be “the police.” When the victims opened the door, they pushed their way in demanding the family give them drugs and money.

    When police responded to a call reporting a robbery, they found the family, husband, wife and their daughter, tied up. The man suffered a head injury when he was pistol-whipped. Police say the robbers got away with a camera, jewelry, and US$5,000 in currency.

    Neighbors told NY1 that they were stunned. “Frightened. Make you think twice before you want to open the door, you know,” said one of the neighbors. “Now you be asking for all this ID and stuff and even still you’re going to wonder, are they for real? So it’s kind of scary.”

    There is no word about whether the two cases are connected. Yonkers is on the border of New York City, but is outside the jurisdiction of the NYPD.

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  • 04Apr

    Saturday, November 14, 2009 

    The Zimbabwean government has allocated US$10 million worth of funds for the relocation of thousands of families living near the Chiadzwa diamond fields in the Manicaland province.

    Murisi Zwizwai, the Deputy Mines Minister, said that the funds would be used to build houses for the residents in the area, and for developments in . “I can confirm that US$10 million has been set aside for the relocation. The relocation may take place after they have harvested their crops,” he said in an interview, as quoted by the New Zimbabwe news agency.

    Zwizwai also added that “the money would be used to build new houses, clinics among others.” According to him, the residents would not be relocated until the 2009–10 agricultural season.

    In a 100-day plan, the Zimbabwean coalition government noted that diamonds in the area might be a large source of funds and finance for the country, and could help revive the economy.

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  • 24Dec

    By Marcella Cardinal

    Caring for your skin and maintaining its youth and luminosity, whether through quality skin care products or regular facials, may seem to many people a matter of vanity and indulgence. Let’s be honest; to some degree it is. We want to look good, because when we look good we feel better about ourselves. But valuing your esthetic needs benefits you more than skin deep, especially when it comes to inflammation.

    The skin is the largest organ in your body and it has a multitude of functions that are taken for granted. For example, not only is it the casing that wraps your musculature, skeletal structure and internal organs, it is like the bouncer in a nightclub. It makes sure only the right things get in, and keeps some of the most important ones from getting out. The skin also acts as a full-time garbage disposal by filtering waste, just like your kidneys, and its acidic pH makes it a hostile environment for bacteria to survive.

    In the evolution of skin care there are many approaches to correcting aging concerns, including balancing hormones, protecting from UV radiation, correcting free-radical damage, and detoxification. Micro-injections have become more and more popular in recent years, as well as sirtuin technology which focuses on activating the enzymes that prolong the life of cells. But what do you know about inflammation?

    I’m guessing what comes to mind is probably swelling, redness, heat and perhaps even discomfort. If so, you’re on the right track, but that’s not the inflammation I’m talking about. What’s more, if you don’t have rosacea, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with you. What if I told you the inflammation I am referring to is an internal and silent inflammation that you neither see nor feel. To put it another way; it’s not a matter of if you have inflammation, it’s a matter of when you will see its effects and the actual toll it’s taking on your skin (and body in general) over the years.

    You see, there are two types of aging: Extrinsic and Intrinsic and I am pretty certain that what you’ve been treating up until now has only been Extrinsic. Just as these names suggest, extrinsic aging happens outside of the body and is influenced by all the factors you are already aware of: damaging radiation due to sun exposure, pollution, and other free-radical causing agents. By contrast, intrinsic aging occurs inside the body and its main governing factors are genetics and inflammation.

    Inflammation is like stress. It has its benefits when it is the body functioning to protect itself. The fight or flight response and spike in adrenaline have been an important tool in the evolution of our species to ensure survival. However, chronically elevated levels of adrenaline -commonly known as stress- begins breaking down your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.

    YouTube Preview Image

    By the same token, inflammation is the skin’s response when an unknown element ‘attacks’ the skin. Blood is rushed to the affected area (increasing heat and redness in the skin) to assist white blood cells in killing infection. Chronic inflammation (whether it’s visible or not) keeps the skin in a heightened state of response. Every time this protective mechanism occurs, enzymes are released to destroy cells, including collagen and elastin, and free-radicals are released.

    At this point you’re most likely wondering what causes inflammation. As I’ve just mentioned, stress and diet are biggies, although stress seems to be the accepted norm in society today. And although, I’m not asking you to overhaul your current lifestyle, tweaking your diet AND using the appropriate skin care products will make a big, long-term difference not only in the beauty of your skin, but in your overall health.

    Aging is not the only skin condition inflammation causes over time. Other common skin concerns include acne, pigmentation spots, sagginess, enlarged pores, dryness, dullness, reddening of the skin and flare-ups.

    So how do you treat this inflammation? Too many times I’ve had clients that believe that the ‘stronger’ or harsher a product or treatment is, the better it must be. After all, it must mean it’s more effective, right? Wrong.

    Believe me, more aggressive treatments can be effective, and are at times necessary, depending on the condition of the skin and the results that need to be achieved. All peels, lasers and medical skin care treatments have their place. These treatments cause a wound response in the skin, which can have its benefits as long as you re-establish balance and give your skin the tools it needs to properly heal and restore itself, maintaining its health from the inside-out.

    Here are some basic steps to get you started on addressing inflammation:

    1.Begin supplementing your skin care with products that contain ingredients such as aloe, gingko biloba, allatoin, honey and chamomile. Skin growth factors (SGFs) are also key in healing and regenerating the skin.

    2.Be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunblock on a daily basis that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as active ingredients in a 6% or higher.

    3.Avoid extremely hot water in washing your face or in your showers. Opt for lukewarm to cool water instead and even keep some skin care products in the refrigerator for that soothing, cooling effect.

    4.Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet, along with whole grains and salmon. If you’re not big on fish, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplements are also effective at targeting the inflammation.

    5.Avoid sugar and coffee as much as you can. Black and green tea are great caffeine alternatives, in addition to being full of antioxidants!

    Having more beautiful, youthful and radiant skin doesn’t necessarily mean completely altering your lifestyle, although it does call for some changes. Surgery, botox and fillers will eliminate wrinkles, but they don’t change the quality and health of your skin. It’s not about just a superficial quick fix if you’re looking for long-term results, but rather a whole-listic approach that involves treating and healing the skin from the inside-out. Who knows, you may even lose a few inches off your waistline!

    About the Author: Marcella is an internationally-trained esthetician and makeup aritst with over 17 years of experience. Her specialties are corrective skin care and TV, print and wedding makeup artistry and she has been featured on The Doctors and Hell’s Kitchen.

    unbridaledbeauty.com

    and

    skinbymarcella.com

    Source:

    isnare.com

    Permanent Link:

    isnare.com/?aid=1062122&ca=Advice

  • 24Dec

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 

    File:JacobZuma.jpg

    Corruption-related charges have been brought against Jacob Zuma, the newly-elected leader of the African National Congress (ANC), according to his lawyer. A trial is scheduled to begin on August 14, 2008.

    The charges stem from an arms deal with a French company, which is alleged to have involved bribes and fraud. Zuma’s financial adviser at the time, Schabir Shaik, was convicted in 2005 of attempting to solicit a bribe of US$72,500 per year from the arms company on Zuma’s behalf and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Zuma was fired as deputy president in 2005 by South African President Thabo Mbeki due to the scandal.

    Two-term ANC leader Mbeki recently lost an ANC leadership contest to Jacob Zuma, who garnered about 60 percent of delegate votes in his win.

    Zuma had been charged with corruption in 2005, but the case was dismissed on procedural grounds. Michael Hulley, Zuma’s defence lawyer, indicated that they will strongly contest the new charges in court. Hulley also suggested that the South African government’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its anti-organised crime division known as The Scorpions, have carried out a smear campaign against Zuma.

    “These charges will be vigorously defended, in the context of the belief that the Scorpions (NPA) have acted wrongly and with improper motive calculated to discredit Mr. Zuma and ensure that he play no leadership role in the political future of our country,” said Michael Hulley in a statement.

    Given that the ANC has been the governing party in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, it is likely that Jacob Zuma could become the next president after general elections in 2009. Zuma has said, however, that he would resign if he was found guilty by the courts.

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  • 24Dec

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 

    File:JacobZuma.jpg

    Corruption-related charges have been brought against Jacob Zuma, the newly-elected leader of the African National Congress (ANC), according to his lawyer. A trial is scheduled to begin on August 14, 2008.

    The charges stem from an arms deal with a French company, which is alleged to have involved bribes and fraud. Zuma’s financial adviser at the time, Schabir Shaik, was convicted in 2005 of attempting to solicit a bribe of US$72,500 per year from the arms company on Zuma’s behalf and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Zuma was fired as deputy president in 2005 by South African President Thabo Mbeki due to the scandal.

    Two-term ANC leader Mbeki recently lost an ANC leadership contest to Jacob Zuma, who garnered about 60 percent of delegate votes in his win.

    Zuma had been charged with corruption in 2005, but the case was dismissed on procedural grounds. Michael Hulley, Zuma’s defence lawyer, indicated that they will strongly contest the new charges in court. Hulley also suggested that the South African government’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its anti-organised crime division known as The Scorpions, have carried out a smear campaign against Zuma.

    “These charges will be vigorously defended, in the context of the belief that the Scorpions (NPA) have acted wrongly and with improper motive calculated to discredit Mr. Zuma and ensure that he play no leadership role in the political future of our country,” said Michael Hulley in a statement.

    Given that the ANC has been the governing party in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, it is likely that Jacob Zuma could become the next president after general elections in 2009. Zuma has said, however, that he would resign if he was found guilty by the courts.

    Filed under: Uncategorized
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  • 24Dec

    Thursday, July 3, 2014 

    Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

    Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

    Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

    In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

    An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

    Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

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