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Video: Sneak glimpse inside the refurbished Ulster Museum

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 21/10/2009

Specialist conservator Nigel Larkin installs the last piece of the skull of the 6 metre long Edmontosaurus dinosaur skeleton
Specialist conservator Nigel Larkin installs the last piece of the skull of the 6 metre long Edmontosaurus dinosaur skeleton
The striking 23 metre high atrium at the entrance to the Ulster Museum
The silver gilt arm-reliquary - popularly called the Shrine of St Patrick's hand
The Gallery of Applied Art
Visitor guide Kathryn Foster admires the Marc Jacobs shoes on show amongst the modern design classics
The face of Takabuti is revealed for the first time as a reconstruction based on work by forensic archeological experts that will be one of the artifacts on show when the Ulster Museum re-opens again to the public
specialist conservator Nigel Larkin installed the last piece of the skull of the 6 metre long Edmontosaurus dinosaur skeleton
The Fossils & Evolution section of the Ulster Museum
The Ulster Museum is headlining its re-opening programme with a major retrospective of the works of Sean Scully. Over eighty pieces will be on display in nine galleries that are connected by walkways and stairs all the way to the top of the 23 metre high atrium.
Jill Kerr, from the Ulster Musuem, puts the finishing touches to Peter the Polar bear after the bear was reinstated as part of the 'Window on Our World' exhibition.
The mineral gallery
Visiter guide Beth Frazer pictured with a deer after a Major £17 million rejuvenation project
Ulster museum prepares for landmark reopening
Ulster museum prepares for landmark reopening
Visitor guide Kathryn Foster pictured with Hippopotamus lower jaw
Ulster museum prepares for landmark reopening

The Ulster Museum has been transformed into a world-class building to house of treasures of past and present.

Walking through the doors after the massive £17 million facelift it was evident that new life had been breathed into the old Ulster Museum.

The clutter and darkness of the former premises, which fused 1920s and 1970s architecture, is gone and has been replaced with natural light and space.

Many of the famous exhibitions remain, but have now been given a 21st century platform.

The atrium, once filled with fossils with the floor stamped with dinosaur feet for children to follow, has disappeared.

In its place is an ultra white ‘Welcome’ area, with wonderfully high ceilings allowing natural light to burst in and illuminate the building. Polished steel and glass interconnecting walkways have transformed the museum. A beautiful stained glass window, previously camouflaged by dull, grey walls now injects colourful beauty onto the white landscape.

The clever redesign allows the public from each level to catch a glimpse of what other floors have in store. One of the difficulties with the old building was navigating it. Now, it has visually and physically opened up.

In Video: Gary Grattan reports as the last exhibit returns to the Ulster

In Video: Gary Grattan visits the Egyptian mummy Takabuti

The impressive collection of artefacts is now divided into four levels and three zones — history, art and nature.

Among the gems for people to view is the Armada exhibition on the first floor, which is glistening with golden artefacts.

Thousands of people must have walked past the exhibition in the old building.

Now the new design of the room allows each individual piece, including necklaces, a gold salamander, crucifixes and chains to be shown off in their finest glory.

The museum's oldest resident, Takabuti — the mummy — is now the centrepiece of a new gallery exploring life and death in ancient Egypt.

But along with the old the redesign has integrated the new.

Impressive audio visual shows are projected onto the walls surrounding the tower which are aimed at encouraging visitors to find out more about special exhibits.

So as the doors officially open tomorrow, Northern Ireland now has a museum and art gallery to rival any in the world.

Belfast Telegraph

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