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UK’s oldest gallery opens after facelift

agAfter a £61 redevelopment plan the oldest public museum and gallery in the UK is back open with a new look designed by Rick Mather.

The Oxford Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology was renovated to increase the gallery space from its original 17th Century design.

During just the first two hours of its reopening over 3000 people entered through the museum doors, and opening hours on a daily basis have been extended until 2200.

As part of the renovation there are 39 new galleries, which is almost double the previous size of the museum, as well as four new temporary exhibition galleries, a rooftop restaurant, conversation studios, and an education centre.

The work for each of these areas was funded in part with a £15m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Chairman of the Ashmolean, Nicholas Barber, stated that the Ashmolean has always been known for their collections but with the new building that can house many more display, the museum now holds a much stronger position on the cultural map.

The Ashmolean takes its name from Elias Asmole who was an aficionado of antiquities during his post in the military and subsequent studies at the University of Oxford.

Director of the museum Christopher Brown stated that since the Ashmolean first considered the expansion project the aim was to create a new avenue to display the museum’s wonderful collections so that more people could benefit on a wider scale.

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