4.12.09

QUEEN ELIZABETH OPENS OXFORD UNIVERSITY'S ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM



QUEEN ELIZABETH II OFFICIALLY OPENED THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM IN OXFORD RECENTLY, AFTER ITS £61 MILLION REDEVELOPMENT. THE MUSEUM, WHICH IS RUN BY THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AND IS THE OLDEST MUSEUM IN BRITAIN, WAS CLOSED FOR A YEAR DURING THE REFURBISHMENT. UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ARCHITECT RICK MATHER, A FURTHER 39 GALLERIES HAVE BEEN ADDED, ALONG WITH THE FIRST ROOF-TOP CAFE IN OXFORD. THE PROJECT, WHICH REPLACED THE WHOLE BUILDING APART FROM THE GRADE I LISTED COCKERELL BUILDING, RECEIVED A £15 MILLION GRANT FROM THE HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND. THE MUSEUM REOPENED ITS DOORS ON 7.NEVEMBER.2009, IN ADVANCE OF THE OFFICIAL CEREMONY BY THE QUEEN. THE QUESTS AT THE REOPENING INCLUDED PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN NAWAF AL-SAUD, THE SAUDI AMBASSADOR TO BRITAIN. THE CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, LORD PATTEN, GREETED THE QUEEN ON HER ARRIVAL. HE SAID: 'IT IS QUITE LITERALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN THE MUSEUM'S HISTORY SINCE IT WAS FOUNDED IN 1683.IT IS A SPECTACULAR RENOVATION AND TRANSFORMATION OF WHAT IS REALLY THE WORLD'S GREATEST UNIVERSITY MUSEUM." THE QUEEN COMBINED HER VISIT TO THE MUSEUM WITH CELEBRATIONS AT BRASENOSE COLLEGE MARKING ITS 500th ANNIVERSARY.

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