'Wall of Wonders' campaign to complete cash call

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A FUNDRAISING campaign to help to create a vast "wall of treasures" inside the new-look Royal Museum building in Scotland's capital was launched yesterday.

The 2 million drive aims to fill the last funding gap in the 46.4m project to transform the celebrated Victorian building.

Almost 1,000 separate objects will be showcased on what is billed as being the largest single museum installation in Scotland.

Taking the form of two 18-metre tall towers, each 13.5m wide, the "Wall of Wonders" it is expected to be the star attraction in the refurbished "Grand Gallery" of the museum.

Among the objects already selected from the museum collections for the new feature are one of the world's first gyroplanes, designed by two Scots in 1934, a girder retrieved from the wreckage of the Tay Bridge disaster and a 2.8 billion year-old rock specimen from Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides.

From overseas, highlights will include the jaw bones of whales captured in Indonesia in 1843, eighth-century war clubs from Fiji and glass models of sea creatures by the German artist Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf.

National Museums Scotland has already raised 10.6m from private donations for the revamp project, which has received grants of 17.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and 16m from the Scottish Government.

Everyone who contributes to the campaign will be recognised in a special souvenir booklet and on the official museum website and will also receive a commemorative print of the museum by the original architect, Captain Francis Fowke.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of NMS, said: "The general theme of the Wall of Wonders is about having the whole world under the one roof, which is also what we can offer visitors here in the one day."

He added: "The wall will reflect the diversity of cultures across the world, the natural world, innovations in science and technology, and also the contribution Scots have made to the world."

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