Ceramics to Coptic socks: National Museum of Scotland completes £80m gallery transformation 6/3/2019

The National Museum of Scotland has opened its final three new galleries, completing a 15 year, £80m project to transform its Victorian building. The new openings include an Ancient Egypt gallery, featuring the Qurna burial – the only intact royal group outside Egypt, and also a striped woolly Coptic sock from 300 – 600AD showing remarkable preservation. The Exploring East Asia gallery focuses on China, Japan and Korea, while the Ceramics gallery follows the 30,000 year history of the material, encompassing both decorative art and modern technological applications. Together, the galleries contain 1,300 objects, 40% of which are on display for the first time in generations. The museum has also taken a very long view of the redesign itself – making it easier for future generations to recalibrate the space more easily 70 years from now. More immediately, Director Dr Gordon Rintoul is hoping that the final three galleries will increase visitor figures from the current 2.3m mark. He said “we’re not making any predictions about how many extra visitors we are going to get, but both Ancient Egypt and East Asia are clearly topics that are of great public interest, so we’re expecting the new galleries to help increase visitor numbers. It would be good to hit three million.” M+H, NMS, BBC, Telegraph (paywall), Art Newspaper