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City history centre wins big makeover; pounds 500,000 grant for Conservation HQ.

Byline: By JOE RILEY Arts editor

LIVERPOOL'S Conservation Centre is to have a half-a-million pound makeover.

The centre in Whitechapel will have a permanent on-view laboratory showing how thousands of historic objects are repaired and maintained.

Demonstrations will range from the X-ray analysis of Egyptian mummies and other artefacts, to the laser cleaning of public monuments.

A total of pounds 570,000 is being spent on the refit to be completed by next summer.

Dr David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool, said today: 'Facilities do need updating.

'Like the Discovery Centre at the newly opened World Museum Liverpool, we want displays that are interactive and involve people as much as possible.

'Here we can create yet another great visual demonstration in the run-up to Capital of Culture.'

A prime target is to explore exhibition themes with reference to everyday household objects.

This will be done using a new area of microscopes and databases.

The revamp design is by the original longestablished Liverpool architect, Ken Martin, whose previous projects have included the 1960s glass frontage to Liverpool Playhouse.

The Conservation Centre, a former Midlands Railway goods office, was opened in1996. In 1998 it was named as European Museum of the Year. It has restored everything from Gloria Swanson's tiger skin rug to rare paintings, Beatles' gold discs, statues and even Blackie the rocking horse from Blacklers store.

The latest grant is from the Rediscover Fund for science centres and museums

CAPTION(S):

FACELIFE: Southport's Queen Victoria statue was restored at the centre; ROARING TRADE: Tracey Seddon works on Gloria Swanson's tiger at the Conservation centre; RESTORED: Blackie the Blacklers horse; CENTRE: pounds 1 /2m facelift on the way
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 6, 2005
Words:278
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