New £21m Robert Burns Birthplace Museum opens

A new museum dedicated to Robert Burns is opening in his birthplace of Alloway in Ayrshire.

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A new £21m museum dedicated to Scotland's national bard has opened its doors to the public.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (RBBM) in Alloway, Ayrshire, aims to attract visitors from across the world.

The project, which has taken six years to complete, will feature more than 5,000 artefacts, including original manuscripts written by the poet.

The official opening of the museum is due to take place on 22 January to coincide with Alloway's Burns weekend.

In addition to never before seen Burns' memorabilia, the facility will also feature newly-commissioned works from leading Scottish artists including Kenny Hunter, Timorous Beasties and Sue Blackwell.

The RBBM replaces what was formerly the Burns National Heritage Park and brings together all of the Alloway sites, including the Burns Monument, Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns Cottage, an education pavilion and Auld Brig O'Doon.

Nat Edwards, director of the museum, said the project had been a "real labour of love".

Robert Burns Robert Burns is recognised as Scotland's national poet

He added: "Our aim is to provide a modern and relevant interpretation of Burns that will intrigue visitors of all ages, whether they are lifelong Burns enthusiasts or completely new to his work.

"Here, you will not just be able to read the manuscript of Tam o' Shanter, you can see the fireplace round which Burns first heard the stories that he turned into that poem, and you can look out the window and see that landscape, places like the Kirk Alloway and Brig O'Doon where the poem takes place.

"It gives you every facet of the man and his work."

Robert Burns, who died in 1796, is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.

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