Cambodian lawmaker calls for ASEAN website to be blocked over missing land

">
Cambodian lawmaker calls for ASEAN website to be blocked over missing land

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Thirty-five square kilometers, or 13.5135755 square miles, or 3,500 hectares or 8,648.68835 acres.

However you figure it, it’s a sizeable chunk of land.

And it’s missing from Cambodia on the website for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, a 10-member regional body of which Cambodia is a member.

The apparent rounding down of Cambodia’s territory, 181,035 square kilometers, on the ASEAN website, has some Cambodian lawmakers up in arms.

Parliamentarian Keo Remy, a member of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, is calling for the ASEAN website to be blocked by Cambodia’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications if the number is not corrected.

“We know that Cambodia has border disputes with its neighbors, and Khmer citizens are paying attention on these issues. We cannot accept such incorrect points. The most important thing is that the government should close this web site,” Keo was quoted as saying by the Khmer-language daily newspaper Kampuchea Thmey.

Though Keo acknowledged the error could be an honest, if careless, mistake, he said it could mean something more sinister – that ASEAN is trying to undermine Cambodia’s sovereignty, and that perhaps ASEAN is working for neighboring nations. It could even be treasonous, he said.

“If it was intentional and perpetrated by a Cambodian, this is treason. It is like not knowing your own parents,” Keo was quoted as saying by Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Other lawmakers also called on the Cambodian government to take action.

“The royal government must react urgently, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,” Monh Saphan, a Funcinpec parliamentarian was quoted as saying by Kampuchea Thmey. “The website [must] be corrected, because it affects the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia.”

And non-governmental organization leaders weighed in.

“The state’s figure is more important and appropriate than figures of other organizations. Therefore, we should urge the government to check this issue,” Seng Theary, executive director of the Center for Social Development, told Kampucha Thmey. “We also wonder where ASEAN got this figure.”

Kek Galabru, president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, said that incorrect figure is most likely a mistake, but said the government should investigate it. “Otherwise a small problem might turn into a bigger issue,” she said.

Government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said he would investigate, and called for cooler heads in the meantime.

Border disputes are a hot-button political issue in Cambodia, which has some long-standing unresolved boundary conflicts with neighbors Thailand and Vietnam.

Cambodia joined ASEAN in 1999, the last country to gain admittance to the regional geo-political and economic body for Southeast Asia. It was founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Other members are Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on September 7th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Lemoine Suggests: investigations from a Wikimedia Foundation news leak/Email Sue Gardner January 7, 2008 7:53:44 PM PST

">
Lemoine Suggests: investigations from a Wikimedia Foundation news leak/Email Sue Gardner January 7, 2008 7:53:44 PM PST

From: Sue Gardner <edited>Amgine wrote:I figure this will be easiest if we remain on a single e-mail thread then.

Sure, that’s fine. So I will keep it all here.

I’ve been collecting documentation regarding the Wikimedia Foundation’s recent fundraising efforts for a news article on Wikinews (No doubt, Sue, Erik has informed you I left the project, as well as curtailed my volunteer involvement with WMF, upon his election to the Board of Trustees. For your benefit, Erik, I am tentatively doing some minor editing and rc-patrol on en.wn) I believe I have a reasonably complete picture of preliminary results.

Great: let me know if you have any questions or need anything confirmed. You can also, obviously, feel free to speak with Erik. Please be aware also that the “Contributions summary” page isn’t necessarily the full picture: it doesn’t include all donations sources. So if you want to use totals for your story, you should confirm them with me or Erik to ensure they’re complete.

But I do have a number of questions based on what I’ve learned.

1. A $250k donation, earmarked for hardware. I would appreciate knowing who made the donation, when, and (if possible) why. I’d love to know if the WMF has determined how this donation will be used.

The 250K is coming from a recently-established private foundation that has educational goals similar to ours: they admire what we’re doing and want to support us, so they phoned the office and offered to make a contribution. (I’m not sure if it matters for your story, but the 250K is actually unrelated to the online fundraiser, and is not included in the fundraiser totals. Also, it may be worth noting that we have not received the money yet. This is totally fine: these things always take a while.)

After that call, I consulted with the tech team, and we decided to use the money to buy core database servers in our Florida cluster. We had intended to buy the servers anyway: this donation will simply cover most/all of the cost. I am happy to tell you the basic story, but I don’t want to publicly give the name of the organization that’s offering us the money: I don’t have their permission to do that. They might be fine with it: who knows. I just am not comfortable making that decision for them.

2. A $500k donation. I would appreciate knowing who made the donation, when, and (if possible) why. I’d also like to know if there were any restrictions placed on this donation, like the previous one was dedicated to hardware purchases.You may already know that our default position is to give donors anonymity unless they specifically say it’s okay to use their names. Lots of donors, particularly those who are giving large amounts, prefer to remain anonymous, and I think it’s only fair to respect that. In this instance, I don’t have permission to give the donor’s name: sorry.

I do not know specifically why this donor made the contribution: clearly they wanted to support our work, but I don’t know anything more specific than that. And no, there were no restrictions put on the donation.

3. A presentation was made to Sun Microsystems by yourselves, plus Roger McNamee in December. This presentation was at least partially created on November 20th and 21st, and has a large amount of information in it regarding recent past, present, and near-term financial, technical, and traffic. I have at least several questions regarding this presentation, including:3.a When did the meeting with Sun Microsystems take place, and with whom did you meet?3.b Assuming the donations proposals are eventually worked out and all parties are able to reach agreement, will the WMF move to a proprietary server network?3.c One of the technical advances discussed in the proposal is collaborative video. Researching this I discovered a mediawiki site within Kaltura which seemed to be very closely related. Is this connection correct?

In general, I don’t want to have a conversation with the media (even friendly media!) about meetings we have with other organizations, until and unless there is something worth talking about. We have lots of provisional conversations with lots of different organizations and people, which don’t necessarily imply anything about future plans or possibilities. So as a general practice, I would never comment on a specific meeting or presentation.

Beyond that, as I’m sure you know, the Wikimedia Foundation is committed to running on an infrastructure powered by open source and open standards. We have no plans to change that.

Amgine, let me know if there’s any more information I can give you. I’m going to be away from the computer for a couple of hours; back later tonight and obviously tomorrow as well.

Thanks for your interest, and best regards.Sue

I should very much like to know answers to these and other questions, and will be in irc://freenode.net/Wikinews-en for some hours yet this evening if that would speed the process.

Best regards,

Amgine

On 7-Jan-08, at 4:11 PM, Sue Gardner wrote:

Hi Amgine,

I’d be happy to talk with Wikinews about the fundraiser – although it would be great if you could wait a few days; we are collating all the donations right now, and don’t yet have final totals. I’m CCing Erik so he can jump in & say when we will.

Do you want to do it by e-mail? If so, I can start answering questions now, and fill in the blanks when I get the last bits of info.

Let me know what you think – thanks,Sue


Original Message ——–

Subject: Re: [Ticket#2008010610008625] Interview with Sue GardnerDate: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 00:21:24 +0000From: Wikimedia press team <press@wikimedia.org>Organization: WikimediaTo: Sue Gardner <edited>

forwarded from OTRS by Angela


Forwarded message from Amgine <amgine@saewyc.net> —

From: Amgine <edited>To: press@wikimedia.orgSubject: Interview with Sue GardnerDate: 2008-01-06 23:55:49

Hi!This is Amgine at en.Wikinews. I’m working on a story involving the Wikimedia Foundation, especially covering the recently ended Fundraiser drive. I’m looking for the opportunity to interview Sue Gardner, hopefully in the early part of this week. I can be reached most easily by cell phone, <edited>, or home phone <edited>, or IRC (check irc://freenode.net/Wikinews-en). I will happily call anywhere for the chance to conduct the interview, or any other venue which would be most convenient.Best regards,Amgine


End forwarded message —

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: [Ticket#2008010610008625] Interview with Sue Gardner] Date: January 7, 2008 7:53:44 PM PST To: Amgine <edited> Cc: Erik <edited>

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on September 3rd, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

">
Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on September 3rd, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Dealing With Sewer Cleaning In San Diego

byAlma Abell

Shower drains get clogged from time to time. As much as you might try to limit the amount of hair that goes down the grain, build-up is going to occur which will cause the flow of water to slow. Most of the time, the clog is only going to be a minor issue that can be taken care of with a drain cleaning liquid from your local store. Once you use the liquid, the drain clears up, and the problem will disappear. Of course, there are other times where the build-up is just too much for the drain cleaning liquid to handle. It isn’t just that there is a ball of hair blocking the water; it is that there is so much build-up in the drain that dislodging said hair won’t do the job. For these types of situations, you need to call out professionals who specialize in Sewer Cleaning in San Diego.

While there are some clogs that occur near the mouth of the drain, there are other issues that occur further down in the system. When you use soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, and other items that create soap scum, you are going to get a build-up on the sides of the pipes, as the scum mixes with dirt before it hardens. If you are dealing with build-up further down in the system, drain cleaning liquid is not going to help. The only thing that will do the job is a professional who has the tools, and the know-how, to do a high-pressure Sewer Cleaning in San Diego to make sure that everything that is clinging to the sides of the piping is flushed away.

Not every plumber is going to be able to do a pressurized sewer cleaning. If you keep getting clogs, and the situation seems to be getting worse, you need to call out a professional who has plenty of experience with sewer cleanings. For this type of job, you need to call out someone like Ken London.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on September 1st, 2019

Filed under Cosmetic Surgery | No Comments »

Russians protest against pension reform

">
Russians protest against pension reform

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

On Sunday, reportedly over a thousand Russians were arrested for illegally protesting against government plans for pension age adjustment. The protest spanned several regions across the country. The plan would raise the retirement age an additional five years, with new age for men at 65, for women at 60.

According to monitoring data from media project OVD-Info, 1018 people were arrested, including 452 people in St Petersburg, 183 people in Yekaterinburg, 60 in Krasnodar, 43 each in Moscow and Omsk, 23 in Perm, 22 in Kazan, 20 in Tver, 17 in Ufa, 15 in Habarovsk, 13 each in Tomsk and Belgorod, 12 each in Chelyabinsk and Lipetsk, 10 in Novosibirsk, and some 80 in other cities.

In Moscow, the rally started at Pushkin Square at 2 p.m. local time and anti-riot police pushed people away. They marched toward the Kremlin. On their way, they again clashed with Police and did not complete the route.

The protests reportedly started in the Far East and Siberia first, followed by western regions of the country.

Regional elections were also on Sunday.

The pension adjustment plan has reportedly coincided with a significant drop in approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on August 24th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Australian treasurer attacks opposition leader’s tax question error

">
Australian treasurer attacks opposition leader’s tax question error

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

File:AUS$20 John Flynn.jpg

The ability of Australian opposition leader, Kevin Rudd to run the country’s economy has been questioned by the Government after he made an error responding to a question on Australia’s current tax system today. Speaking in Queanbeyan, New South Wales earlier today, Mr Rudd was asked if he could name the current tax rates and the thresholds at which they kick in.

Mr Rudd said that he thought the top tax rate started at AUD$175,000. In fact, Australia’s top taxation rate begins at $150,000. “Well, as of July 1, if you went through the four thresholds, I think the high threshold kicks in I think at $175,000, then I think it cascades down the spectrum,” Mr Rudd told reporters.

Australian treasurer Peter Costello, who introduced the tax threshold changes, has seized on the opposition leader’s uncertainty, claiming that “he has never cared about economic policy, he has no interest in it,” he said.

Treasurer Costello claimed: “He was exposed as a fraud on productivity and we don’t hear him talking about productivity very much anymore.

“Now he has been exposed as being naked when it comes to understanding the tax system.”

Mr Costello demanded that the opposition release their taxation policy. “Since the Labor Party demands an election to be called on a daily basis, you would think they might have the decency of releasing a policy so that people can know what it is,” said Costello.

A Federal election is expected in Australia in the next three months and the Coalition Government is trailing the Opposition by ten percentage points on a two-party preferred basis.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on August 24th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

San Francisco hit-and-run suspect caught after lying

">
San Francisco hit-and-run suspect caught after lying

Monday, June 7, 2010

A suspect in a hit-and-run located in San Francisco, California, was arrested after hitting four cyclists and, two days later, lying to the police. Over the course of six minutes, the 39-year-old man hit four people with his car and then ran off when his car crashed into another vehicle and hit a pole. The investigators tracked down the man’s address with the evidence found in the car; however, as he had moved, they were unable to find him.

The suspect later told the police at Albany Police Station that his car was stolen, and after the police identified that as a lie, he was arrested. The police believes that the victims were deliberately targeted, although the motive remains a mystery. The suspect is currently in hospital for medical and psychological testing.

“I was only a block from my house and I saw something coming at me, from the corner of my eye. I managed to swing out of the way and avoid the full brunt of an impact,” said one of the victims, Rory Madden. “It doesn’t make any sense that anybody would do that, so whatever he has to say is not going to make sense.” The other three men were hospitalized, two in serious condition and one in fair condition.

The attack left bicycles crumpled and some cars damaged, one severely, according to San Francisco police spokeswoman, Lyn Tomkioka. “We’re just really glad that he’s been arrested,” she said. Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition condemned the attack, stating that there are currently efforts to make San Francisco “one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country”.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on August 24th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

Landscape In Phoenix And Your Curb Appeal Problems With Marketing Your Home

byAlma Abell

What kind of a mess are you dealing with concerning your curb appeal? Are you finding that buyers do not even want to tour your home as a result? Then you need to do something about it. In order to bring home buyers into your home, you need to promote your property from the outside. It is not all about what is on the inside of your home. If buyers are looking at the grass and shrubs that need to be trimmed, they may think that the inside of your home offers more work. Thus, they may not even want to get out of their cars. So, make a commitment today to taking care of your curb appeal with the best Landscape in Phoenix professionals.

Though you may love the inside of your home, and it may feature a gourmet kitchen and open layout, that simply is not enough. When it comes to investing in your home, it is wise to market it for top-dollar and draw home buyers into it based on your curb appeal. In fact, the first thing home buyers see before even getting to your driveway is pictures in many cases. They may see pictures online or they may be sent from their agent. The first picture they will normally see is of the curb appeal. What will they see when they view your pictures? They will see a lot of work. However, the majority of buyers are not looking to take on work. They prefer move in ready properties. So, do not give them a reason to walk away or simply give you a low offer.

Hot properties doe not stay on the market long. Further, in some cases, there will be bidding wars. The reason for this is simple to see. These homes are done from the outside to the inside. So, if you are not sure what you need to improve your curb appeal, ask your agent to show you homes that went for top-dollar and look at the curb appeal. Next, contact Sergio’s Lawn Service. You will be glad you invested in the right Landscape in Phoenix professionals to fix your curb appeal problems.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on August 23rd, 2019

Filed under Gold | No Comments »

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with NDP candidate Paul Johnstone, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

">
Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with NDP candidate Paul Johnstone, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A resident of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound his whole life, Correctional Services officer Paul Johnstone is running for the Ontario New Democratic Party in the Ontario provincial election. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on August 18th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »

National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

">
National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

Friday, July 29, 2011

Today sees the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland following a three-year renovation costing £47.4 million (US$ 77.3 million). Edinburgh’s Chambers Street was closed to traffic for the morning, with the 10am reopening by eleven-year-old Bryony Hare, who took her first steps in the museum, and won a competition organised by the local Evening News paper to be a VIP guest at the event. Prior to the opening, Wikinews toured the renovated museum, viewing the new galleries, and some of the 8,000 objects inside.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Dressed in Victorian attire, Scottish broadcaster Grant Stott acted as master of ceremonies over festivities starting shortly after 9am. The packed street cheered an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex created by Millenium FX; onlookers were entertained with a twenty-minute performance by the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on the steps of the museum; then, following Bryony Hare knocking three times on the original doors to ask that the museum be opened, the ceremony was heralded with a specially composed fanfare – played on a replica of the museum’s 2,000-year-old carnyx Celtic war-horn. During the fanfare, two abseilers unfurled white pennons down either side of the original entrance.

The completion of the opening to the public was marked with Chinese firecrackers, and fireworks, being set off on the museum roof. As the public crowded into the museum, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers resumed their performance; a street theatre group mingled with the large crowd, and the animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex entertained the thinning crowd of onlookers in the centre of the street.

On Wednesday, the museum welcomed the world’s press for an in depth preview of the new visitor experience. Wikinews was represented by Brian McNeil, who is also Wikimedia UK’s interim liaison with Museum Galleries Scotland.

The new pavement-level Entrance Hall saw journalists mingle with curators. The director, Gordon Rintoul, introduced presentations by Gareth Hoskins and Ralph Applebaum, respective heads of the Architects and Building Design Team; and, the designers responsible for the rejuvenation of the museum.

Describing himself as a “local lad”, Hoskins reminisced about his grandfather regularly bringing him to the museum, and pushing all the buttons on the numerous interactive exhibits throughout the museum. Describing the nearly 150-year-old museum as having become “a little tired”, and a place “only visited on a rainy day”, he commented that many international visitors to Edinburgh did not realise that the building was a public space; explaining the focus was to improve access to the museum – hence the opening of street-level access – and, to “transform the complex”, focus on “opening up the building”, and “creating a number of new spaces […] that would improve facilities and really make this an experience for 21st century museum visitors”.

Hoskins explained that a “rabbit warren” of storage spaces were cleared out to provide street-level access to the museum; the floor in this “crypt-like” space being lowered by 1.5 metres to achieve this goal. Then Hoskins handed over to Applebaum, who expressed his delight to be present at the reopening.

Applebaum commented that one of his first encounters with the museum was seeing “struggling young mothers with two kids in strollers making their way up the steps”, expressing his pleasure at this being made a thing of the past. Applebaum explained that the Victorian age saw the opening of museums for public access, with the National Museum’s earlier incarnation being the “College Museum” – a “first window into this museum’s collection”.

Have you any photos of the museum, or its exhibits?

The museum itself is physically connected to the University of Edinburgh’s old college via a bridge which allowed students to move between the two buildings.

Applebaum explained that the museum will, now redeveloped, be used as a social space, with gatherings held in the Grand Gallery, “turning the museum into a social convening space mixed with knowledge”. Continuing, he praised the collections, saying they are “cultural assets [… Scotland is] turning those into real cultural capital”, and the museum is, and museums in general are, providing a sense of “social pride”.

McNeil joined the yellow group on a guided tour round the museum with one of the staff. Climbing the stairs at the rear of the Entrance Hall, the foot of the Window on the World exhibit, the group gained a first chance to see the restored Grand Gallery. This space is flooded with light from the glass ceiling three floors above, supported by 40 cast-iron columns. As may disappoint some visitors, the fish ponds have been removed; these were not an original feature, but originally installed in the 1960s – supposedly to humidify the museum; and failing in this regard. But, several curators joked that they attracted attention as “the only thing that moved” in the museum.

The museum’s original architect was Captain Francis Fowke, also responsible for the design of London’s Royal Albert Hall; his design for the then-Industrial Museum apparently inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace.

The group moved from the Grand Gallery into the Discoveries Gallery to the south side of the museum. The old red staircase is gone, and the Millennium Clock stands to the right of a newly-installed escalator, giving easier access to the upper galleries than the original staircases at each end of the Grand Gallery. Two glass elevators have also been installed, flanking the opening into the Discoveries Gallery and, providing disabled access from top-to-bottom of the museum.

The National Museum of Scotland’s origins can be traced back to 1780 when the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine, formed the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; the Society being tasked with the collection and preservation of archaeological artefacts for Scotland. In 1858, control of this was passed to the government of the day and the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland came into being. Items in the collection at that time were housed at various locations around the city.

On Wednesday, October 28, 1861, during a royal visit to Edinburgh by Queen Victoria, Prince-Consort Albert laid the foundation-stone for what was then intended to be the Industrial Museum. Nearly five years later, it was the second son of Victoria and Albert, Prince Alfred, the then-Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the building which was then known as the Scottish Museum of Science and Art. A full-page feature, published in the following Monday’s issue of The Scotsman covered the history leading up to the opening of the museum, those who had championed its establishment, the building of the collection which it was to house, and Edinburgh University’s donation of their Natural History collection to augment the exhibits put on public display.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Selection of views of the Grand Gallery Image: Brian McNeil.

Closed for a little over three years, today’s reopening of the museum is seen as the “centrepiece” of National Museums Scotland’s fifteen-year plan to dramatically improve accessibility and better present their collections. Sir Andrew Grossard, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The reopening of the National Museum of Scotland, on time and within budget is a tremendous achievement […] Our collections tell great stories about the world, how Scots saw that world, and the disproportionate impact they had upon it. The intellectual and collecting impact of the Scottish diaspora has been profound. It is an inspiring story which has captured the imagination of our many supporters who have helped us achieve our aspirations and to whom we are profoundly grateful.

The extensive work, carried out with a view to expand publicly accessible space and display more of the museums collections, carried a £47.4 million pricetag. This was jointly funded with £16 million from the Scottish Government, and £17.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further funds towards the work came from private sources and totalled £13.6 million. Subsequent development, as part of the longer-term £70 million “Masterplan”, is expected to be completed by 2020 and see an additional eleven galleries opened.

The funding by the Scottish Government can be seen as a ‘canny‘ investment; a report commissioned by National Museums Scotland, and produced by consultancy firm Biggar Economics, suggest the work carried out could be worth £58.1 million per year, compared with an estimated value to the economy of £48.8 prior to the 2008 closure. Visitor figures are expected to rise by over 20%; use of function facilities are predicted to increase, alongside other increases in local hospitality-sector spending.

Proudly commenting on the Scottish Government’s involvement Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, described the reopening as, “one of the nation’s cultural highlights of 2011” and says the rejuvenated museum is, “[a] must-see attraction for local and international visitors alike“. Continuing to extol the museum’s virtues, Hyslop states that it “promotes the best of Scotland and our contributions to the world.

So-far, the work carried out is estimated to have increased the public space within the museum complex by 50%. Street-level storage rooms, never before seen by the public, have been transformed into new exhibit space, and pavement-level access to the buildings provided which include a new set of visitor facilities. Architectural firm Gareth Hoskins have retained the original Grand Gallery – now the first floor of the museum – described as a “birdcage” structure and originally inspired by The Crystal Palace built in Hyde Park, London for the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The centrepiece in the Grand Gallery is the “Window on the World” exhibit, which stands around 20 metres tall and is currently one of the largest installations in any UK museum. This showcases numerous items from the museum’s collections, rising through four storeys in the centre of the museum. Alexander Hayward, the museums Keeper of Science and Technology, challenged attending journalists to imagine installing “teapots at thirty feet”.

The redeveloped museum includes the opening of sixteen brand new galleries. Housed within, are over 8,000 objects, only 20% of which have been previously seen.

  • Ground floor
  • First floor
  • Second floor
  • Top floor

The Window on the World rises through the four floors of the museum and contains over 800 objects. This includes a gyrocopter from the 1930s, the world’s largest scrimshaw – made from the jaws of a sperm whale which the University of Edinburgh requested for their collection, a number of Buddha figures, spearheads, antique tools, an old gramophone and record, a selection of old local signage, and a girder from the doomed Tay Bridge.

The arrangement of galleries around the Grand Gallery’s “birdcage” structure is organised into themes across multiple floors. The World Cultures Galleries allow visitors to explore the culture of the entire planet; Living Lands explains the ways in which our natural environment influences the way we live our lives, and the beliefs that grow out of the places we live – from the Arctic cold of North America to Australia’s deserts.

The adjacent Patterns of Life gallery shows objects ranging from the everyday, to the unusual from all over the world. The functions different objects serve at different periods in peoples’ lives are explored, and complement the contents of the Living Lands gallery.

Performance & Lives houses musical instruments from around the world, alongside masks and costumes; both rooted in long-established traditions and rituals, this displayed alongside contemporary items showing the interpretation of tradition by contemporary artists and instrument-creators.

The museum proudly bills the Facing the Sea gallery as the only one in the UK which is specifically based on the cultures of the South Pacific. It explores the rich diversity of the communities in the region, how the sea shapes the islanders’ lives – describing how their lives are shaped as much by the sea as the land.

Both the Facing the Sea and Performance & Lives galleries are on the second floor, next to the new exhibition shop and foyer which leads to one of the new exhibition galleries, expected to house the visiting Amazing Mummies exhibit in February, coming from Leiden in the Netherlands.

The Inspired by Nature, Artistic Legacies, and Traditions in Sculpture galleries take up most of the east side of the upper floor of the museum. The latter of these shows the sculptors from diverse cultures have, through history, explored the possibilities in expressing oneself using metal, wood, or stone. The Inspired by Nature gallery shows how many artists, including contemporary ones, draw their influence from the world around us – often commenting on our own human impact on that natural world.

Contrastingly, the Artistic Legacies gallery compares more traditional art and the work of modern artists. The displayed exhibits attempt to show how people, in creating specific art objects, attempt to illustrate the human spirit, the cultures they are familiar with, and the imaginative input of the objects’ creators.

The easternmost side of the museum, adjacent to Edinburgh University’s Old College, will bring back memories for many regular visitors to the museum; but, with an extensive array of new items. The museum’s dedicated taxidermy staff have produced a wide variety of fresh examples from the natural world.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

At ground level, the Animal World and Wildlife Panorama’s most imposing exhibit is probably the lifesize reproduction of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. This rubs shoulders with other examples from around the world, including one of a pair of elephants. The on-display elephant could not be removed whilst renovation work was underway, and lurked in a corner of the gallery as work went on around it.

Above, in the Animal Senses gallery, are examples of how we experience the world through our senses, and contrasting examples of wildly differing senses, or extremes of such, present in the natural world. This gallery also has giant screens, suspended in the free space, which show footage ranging from the most tranquil and peaceful life in the sea to the tooth-and-claw bloody savagery of nature.

The Survival gallery gives visitors a look into the ever-ongoing nature of evolution; the causes of some species dying out while others thrive, and the ability of any species to adapt as a method of avoiding extinction.

Earth in Space puts our place in the universe in perspective. Housing Europe’s oldest surviving Astrolabe, dating from the eleventh century, this gallery gives an opportunity to see the technology invented to allow us to look into the big questions about what lies beyond Earth, and probe the origins of the universe and life.

In contrast, the Restless Earth gallery shows examples of the rocks and minerals formed through geological processes here on earth. The continual processes of the planet are explored alongside their impact on human life. An impressive collection of geological specimens are complemented with educational multimedia presentations.

Beyond working on new galleries, and the main redevelopment, the transformation team have revamped galleries that will be familiar to regular past visitors to the museum.

Formerly known as the Ivy Wu Gallery of East Asian Art, the Looking East gallery showcases National Museums Scotland’s extensive collection of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese material. The gallery’s creation was originally sponsored by Sir Gordon Wu, and named after his wife Ivy. It contains items from the last dynasty, the Manchu, and examples of traditional ceramic work. Japan is represented through artefacts from ordinary people’s lives, expositions on the role of the Samurai, and early trade with the West. Korean objects also show the country’s ceramic work, clothing, and traditional accessories used, and worn, by the indigenous people.

The Ancient Egypt gallery has always been a favourite of visitors to the museum. A great many of the exhibits in this space were returned to Scotland from late 19th century excavations; and, are arranged to take visitors through the rituals, and objects associated with, life, death, and the afterlife, as viewed from an Egyptian perspective.

The Art and Industry and European Styles galleries, respectively, show how designs are arrived at and turned into manufactured objects, and the evolution of European style – financed and sponsored by a wide range of artists and patrons. A large number of the objects on display, often purchased or commissioned, by Scots, are now on display for the first time ever.

Shaping our World encourages visitors to take a fresh look at technological objects developed over the last 200 years, many of which are so integrated into our lives that they are taken for granted. Radio, transportation, and modern medicines are covered, with a retrospective on the people who developed many of the items we rely on daily.

What was known as the Museum of Scotland, a modern addition to the classical Victorian-era museum, is now known as the Scottish Galleries following the renovation of the main building.

This dedicated newer wing to the now-integrated National Museum of Scotland covers the history of Scotland from a time before there were people living in the country. The geological timescale is covered in the Beginnings gallery, showing continents arranging themselves into what people today see as familiar outlines on modern-day maps.

Just next door, the history of the earliest occupants of Scotland are on display; hunters and gatherers from around 4,000 B.C give way to farmers in the Early People exhibits.

The Kingdom of the Scots follows Scotland becoming a recognisable nation, and a kingdom ruled over by the Stewart dynasty. Moving closer to modern-times, the Scotland Transformed gallery looks at the country’s history post-union in 1707.

Industry and Empire showcases Scotland’s significant place in the world as a source of heavy engineering work in the form of rail engineering and shipbuilding – key components in the building of the British Empire. Naturally, whisky was another globally-recognised export introduced to the world during empire-building.

Lastly, Scotland: A Changing Nation collects less-tangible items, including personal accounts, from the country’s journey through the 20th century; the social history of Scots, and progress towards being a multicultural nation, is explored through heavy use of multimedia exhibits.

Posted by 4MSd2yHc on August 18th, 2019

Filed under Uncategorized | No Comments »