The Ulster Museum is this Thursday (October 22) set to open its doors to the public following the completion of a £17 million rejuvenation project.
The move comes 80 years to the day since the official opening ceremony of the museum back in 1929.
A spokeswoman for the museum said: “The Ulster Museum’s refurbishment has resulted in a dramatic but sensitive transformation of the south Belfast building.
“Visitors will now be welcomed into an impressive 23 metre high atrium area, leading to new history, art and nature zones.
“White walls, polished steel and glass inter-connecting walkways and bright, airy spaces are just some of the new features of the Ulster Museum.
“A ‘Window on Our World’ gallery, scaling four levels, features iconic objects from across the museum’s collections and, from a variety of viewing points throughout the museum, gives visitors a sense of the scale and diversity of the museum’s collections.”
Tim Cooke, director of National Museums Northern Ireland, said: “The Ulster Museum’s rejuvenation has been radical and deliberate, designed not just to improve and develop the building, galleries and visitor facilities but also to allow new ways of exploring the collections and engaging with learning while offering both space and activity for reflection and creativity.
“We are delighted with the results and believe this project will make a substantial contribution to Northern Ireland’s cultural and tourism sectors. This is a flagship project of a world-class standard and we very much look forward to people enjoying the new-look Ulster Museum for themselves.”
Old favourites including Takabuti, Peter the Polar Bear, the Chambers Car and the Edmontosaurus dinosaur skeleton will be back on display.
Visitors will also be able to view never-seen-before collections of Belleek, ceramic, glass, sculpture and jewellery, as well as new exhibits including the first reconstruction of the Giant Deer ever to be displayed on the island of Ireland.