ONE of Scotland’s most visited museums hopes its bid to display aircraft wreckage from the Lockerbie bombing will be boosted by the remains of Pan Am flight 103 being moved north of the Border.
The Crown Office yesterday confirmed the wreckage had been moved from an Air Accidents Investigation Branch hangar in Hampshire to a storage facility near Dumfries.
The investigation into the 1988 attack, in which 270 people were killed, is ongoing, although Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence agent convicted of the bombing, died last year.
The Riverside Museum in Glasgow, which attracts more than a million visitors a year, is seeking part of the wreckage to add to its permanent display about the disaster, which was developed with the victims’ families.
A source said: “We continue to hope some of the fuselage will be made available to help us to tell this important story.”
Museum officials have previously told The Scotsman they were seeking “something which is identifiably part of the aircraft rather than just a piece of metal”, such as a seat or one of the black boxes.
Curators have previously said: “We want items that tell a story, such as a piece of fuselage which shows blast damage, or something which illustrates the forensic investigation.”
The wreckage is now at a secure storage site following its transfer from the Department for Transport Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in Farnborough, where the hangar in which it had been housed was being refurbished.
A spokesman for Glasgow Life, which runs the Riverside Museum for Glasgow City Council, said: “We maintain an interest in acquiring part of the aircraft.”
Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, British investigators have been working to establish if other individuals in Libya could be brought to trial for their involvement.
Megrahi, who was released from jail in 2009 by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, died in Libya in May last year still protesting his innocence.
Senior officials from the Crown Office, the former Dumfries and Galloway police force and the FBI visited Tripoli in February for a series of meetings with Libyan government ministers to discuss the case.
The Crown Office said: “We can confirm wreckage from Pan Am 103, the plane destroyed in the Lockerbie bombing, has been returned to Scotland.
“Parts of the fuselage retrieved from the scene of the 1988 terrorist atrocity were used to reconstruct the fuselage of Pan Am 103 for evidential purposes.
“The wreckage was previously stored at the AAIB in Farnborough for 24 years. Due to the refurbishment of a hangar, the reconstruction was dismantled and removed. It will now be stored at a secure location in the Dumfries area. The families have been advised of these developments.
“As the investigation remains live, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
The Riverside Museum, which opened in 2011, has taken over the Lockerbie display which was previously part of the Museum of Transport at the Kelvin Hall.
It includes a metal detector, airport X-ray machine and a package similar to that which contained the bomb. The names of those killed are recorded on the walls. The display was established in 1998 to mark the tenth anniversary of the disaster.