King Richard III exhibition opens in Leicester Guildhall

image captionThe replica of the skull was one of the highlights
image captionArtefacts found in the Greyfriars were also on display
image captionA model of the Blue Boar pub where King Richard III spent the night before the Battle of Bosworth
image captionThe exhibition will eventually move to a permanent site

Up to 1,000 people have taken the chance to be the first to see an exhibition about Richard III - which included a replica of his skull.

The display, at Leicester's Guildhall, focuses on the effort to prove remains found under a nearby car park were those of the last Plantagenet king.

Experts this week confirmed the skeleton unearthed by archaeologists belonged to Richard III.

Visitors queued around the building to gain entry to the exhibition.

'This is fantastic'

Andy Morris was first in line to see the display and said he was on the verge of tears.

He added: "I said yesterday I would be the first in the queue and I'm here. This is fantastic, it is history coming alive in our own city."

Laura Hadland, senior curator of history at Leicester Arts and Museum Services, said it would introduce visitors to the story behind the excavation and give them a chance to explore scientific evidence from the Greyfriars site.

image captionCrowds queued to get into the Guildhall before the exhibition even opened

She said: "It has been steadily busy all day. Before it started we said we hoped we would reach 1,000 visitors in a day and it looks like we might manage it.

"The feedback has been really positive. I've been really pleased that people are so happy with it.

"There are also touchscreen interactive tables with a detailed examination of the skeleton and a 3D model of the skull."

Helen Fairhead, from Leicestershire Promotions, said they expected the exhibition to give a boost to tourism in the city and the county.

"This is extremely exciting for us, I have never known anything quite as phenomenal as this in our region in terms of the impact it will have on local tourism and the economy."

The exhibition is free and it is expected to remain at the Guildhall until a permanent visitor centre is built.

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