National Museum of Scotland launching new galleries

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National Museum of Scotland launching new galleries

Coffin, plastered and painted wood, made for two children, from Thebes, Roman period

The National Museum of Scotland -- the most-visited attraction in the UK outside of London -- has announced the opening date for three new galleries dedicated to East Asia, Ancient Egypt and ceramics.

Set for February 8, 2019, the opening of the galleries 100 days from now will mark the completion of a 15-year transformation of the National Museum of Scotland that has involved restoring the Victorian building and displaying more of its holdings.

The three new galleries will feature 1,500 objects in all, 40 percent of which will go on show for the first time in a generation or more.

Ancient Egypt Rediscovered will cover 3,000 years of history, displaying objects including the only intact royal burial group outside Egypt, the only double coffin ever discovered in Egypt, and a cosmetics box said to be one of the finest surviving examples of decorative woodwork from ancient Egypt. Also in the spotlight will be the various contributions made by Scottish people to the field of Egyptology.

Exploring East Asia focuses on the cultures of China, Japan and Korea, featuring the museum's notable East Asia collection, which is among the most important in the UK and represents more than 150 years of continuous collecting. Objects will include a headdress from 18th-century China made of kingfisher feathers, sets of armor and Japanese woodblock prints.

In Art of Ceramics, visitors will be able to learn more about the versatile medium with examples from across the world dating from the 11th to the 21st centuries. Among the central themes will be the importance of ceramics in international trade and their use in scientific and technological applications, with examples such as 19th-century false teeth, heat-protective coatings and high-tech brakes used in motorsports.

The new galleries add to the more than 13,000 objects that have already been put on display across 26 galleries since the start of the museum's transformation. During that time, the museum has become the most-visited attraction in the UK outside London, welcoming more than 2.3 million visitors annually.

Located in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland completes its revamp in the same year as the opening of the brand-new V&A design museum in nearby Dundee.