In 2006, the new Museum of Scotland and the neighboring Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh merged to become the National Museum of Scotland. The museum is home to Scottish and international collections of medieval and prehistoric artifacts. Artifacts from geology, archaeology, natural history, science, technology, art, and other cultures are on display in the museum.
The current Museum of Scotland building opened in 1998, whereas the Victorian Venetian Renaissance front and magnificent central hall of the former Royal Museum building date to 1861 and 1866, respectively.
The structure features both Corbusian geometry and several sculptural references to Scottish brochs and fortified castles. Gold-hued Moray sandstone was used for its construction. In 1999, the design was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.
How to explore the National Museum of Scotland?
- Eight thousand pieces are spread over the 16 galleries that were refurbished in 2011. The South Pacific, East Asia, and Ancient Egypt are all represented there. The galleries here feature European art, design, science, and technology.
- The newer building's galleries display Scottish history in chronological order, with the earliest eras (prehistory to the early Middle Ages) on the ground floor and the most recent (post-Medieval) on the upper floors.
- Over 800 pieces are shown in an exhibit called the 'Window on the World,' which rises four stories within the Grand Gallery.
- Objects associated with Scots in the realms of invention, exploration, and adventure can be found in the 'Discoveries' gallery, located just off the Grand Gallery on the ground floor.
- Dolly the sheep's stuffed body, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, is one of the most popular attraction in the museum.
- The Jean Muir Collection of costumes, the Ancient Egyptian displays, and the massive kinetic artwork known as the Millennium Clock are also noteworthy.
- The Scottish Maiden was invented in Scotland, a forerunner to the guillotine and a popular attraction at school carnivals. These are also on exhibit in the museum.