Museum to Burns misses out on Dylan

SCOTTISH authors Alasdair Gray and Liz Lochhead are expected to launch the £21 million Robert Burns Birthplace museum as hopes faded that Bob Dylan would headline celebrations of Scotland's latest culural attraction.

It is expected that the Alloway complex - which includes two shops, a caf and restaurant - will attract 80,000 visitors and 1.5?million in revenue a year after it opens to the public on 1 December, before its official launch in January.

Dylan, the US folk star inspired by Burns' songs, had been invited to the launch. But the chances of the singer, who owns a 2?million home in the Highlands, making a detour to Scotland in the year that marks his 70th birthday now appear slim.

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Museum director Nat Edwards said poet and playwright Lochhead and the Lanark author Gray were most fitting because they celebrated a tradition of Scots language and poetry.

He added: "With admissions (8 per person for three-day ticket but free to NTS members], retail, catering and functions, we hope to generate 1.5m a year to cover everything."

But Dr Gerald Carruthers, director of the Robert Burns Centre at the University of Glasgow, said: "The dream ticket would be Bob Dylan, a great music person, and a great poet. I heard that's what they wanted but it is unlikely, sadly."