100,000 visitors in six days The newly redeveloped National Museum of Scotland has attracted over 100,000 visitors in the first six days since it opened to the public last Friday morning. Prior to opening, Museum staff predicted they might achieve the 100,000 mark within two weeks of opening, but that target was smashed in less than half the time expected, with the first week’s tally expected to reach around 120,000. Visitors have come from far and near, with locals and families well-represented in addition to increasing volumes of tourists arriving for the Edinburgh Festivals. Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland, said: “The number of visitors we have had so far is absolutely fantastic. We were always confident that there would be a high level of interest in our transformed Museum, but to get over 100,000 people in less than a week really has surpassed all of our expectations.” The Museum reopened last Friday, 29 July, after a major three-year redevelopment. A spectacular opening ceremony on Chambers Street was followed by nearly 6,000 people passing through the doors in the first hour of opening. In all, 22,000 visitors packed the Museum on the opening day – over double the amount expected – and there has been a constant stream of visitors ever since. The tally went through the 100,000 mark late on Wednesday afternoon. The 100,000th visitors were the Vass family from Gorebridge, Ian, Kim and children Riannon, aged 10 and Layla, aged 6. Rachel Sim from the Museum’s Visitor Services team presented the family with a Museum goodie bag, including badges, postcards, a voucher for the shop and a year’s family membership. The Natural World galleries, including animals such as the life-sized T.rex, a great white shark and giraffe, and the Discoveries gallery, featuring the Millennium Clock in addition to the world’s oldest surviving colour television and Alexander Fleming’s Nobel Prize medal are proving extremely popular, while the Adventure Planet and Imagine galleries are proving a hit with younger visitors. Notes to Editors About the Museum The history of the National Museum of Scotland begins in 1780, at the height of the Enlightenment, with the formation of The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland to collect the archaeology of Scotland – forming the basis of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. In the mid-19th century the Royal Scottish Museum (then called the Industrial Museum of Scotland) began to show international collections at the building on Chambers Street, and in 1985 the two came together to form the foundation of the National Museum of Scotland. In 1998 the building was extended with a new Museum of Scotland, telling the country’s history from earliest times to the present day. Thus a single Museum in the heart of Edinburgh was created to celebrate Scottish national history, world cultures, applied arts and science. The £47.4 million redevelopment, jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (£17.8 million), and the Scottish Government (£16 million), with a further £13.6 million from private sources, incorporates: Over 8,000 objects, 80% of which will be in display for the first time A new entrance hall at street level 16 new galleries A spacious gallery for international touring exhibitions 2 discovery galleries for children and families A new 3-storey learning centre The reinstated Grand Gallery, and a new addition: the Window on the World 50% more public space National Museums Scotland is the largest multi-disciplinary museum group in Scotland, with four million items in its collections and the largest body of curatorial and conservation expertise in the country. Today, the group includes: National Museum of Scotland (formerly the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland) National Museum of Flight National War Museum National Museum of Rural Life National Museum of Costume. 3 August 2011 For further information and images please contact: Susan Gray, Hannah Dolby or Bruce Blacklaw, National Museums Scotland Press Office or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, t. 0131 247 4165.