Over 22,000 visitors came to the National Museum of Scotland on the first day after a grand public opening on Friday 29 July. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, with vox pops showing that many were delighted and excited to be returning to the well-loved Museum. The final figure was 22,071.
Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland, said:-
“I’m delighted with such a fantastic number of visitors, and their reaction is testimony to the successful creation of what is now a world-class museum for Scotland, where people can see the world under one roof.”
The normal daily visitor figure to the Museum is 2,500 and the highest figure in recent history was 7,500 for a day during the exhibition Dinosaurs Alive! in 2006.
On-street celebrations began at 9.15am, with an animatronic T.rex dinosaur, dramatic Tidal Zone sea creatures, puppets on stilts and the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers. Grant Stott from Radio Forth, invited local child 11 year-old Bryony Hare to open the doors, prompting a fanfare, the unfurling of banners and “statues” abseiling from the roof of the building.
There were music and activities going on in the Museum throughout the day, including musician and instrument-maker Victor Gama in the Performance and Lives gallery, playing the instruments which he created especially for the National Museum of Scotland.
Most popular among the exhibits are the spectacular Wildlife Panorama, including animals such as the life-sized T. Rex, white shark and giraffe.