Three Scottish museums in the running for prestigious award

National Museum of Scotland, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Riverside Museum of Transport on longlist for 2012 Art Fund Prize.

Riverside Museum: Scotland's transport museum is up for award.
© STV

Three Scottish museums are in the running to win a coveted award.

The National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, both in Edinburgh, are joined by Glasgow's Riverside Museum on the longlist for the 2012 Art Fund Prize, also known as the museum of the year award.

The accolade is the biggest award for arts and cultural organisations in the UK. Ten museums in total across the country are in with a chance to win £100,000 and the prestigious award, which will be announced on June 19.

The National Museum reopened in July 2011 following a £47.4m redevelopment, and attracted over 100,000 visitors in its first six days of opening.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland said: " This is clear recognition of the hard work undertaken by the project team and all of our staff to create an outstanding museum experience for local, national and international visitors.

"We have been thrilled by the positive reception the museum has had from visitors from near and far."

The National Portrait Gallery was also refurbished for the first time in its 120-year history, at a cost of £17.6m, while the Riverside Museum opened on the banks of the Clyde in June and attracted more than half a million visitors within seven weeks.

The museum has more than 3000 transport-themed exhibits, including cars, trains, bicycles and replicas of historic streets.

The longlist was chosen by a panel of experts chaired by Lord Smith of Finsbury, former Labour MP and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. A shortlist of four museums will be announced on May 14.

Organisers have also launched a website inviting members of the public to say to say why their chosen museum should win the prize. Comments left on the site, www.artfundprize.org.uk, will be considered by the judges as they decide the shortlist, and anyone who leaves comments will be entered into a prize draw.

The full longlist of nominated museums is:

  • Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, Bucks.: The Life and Works of Alan Turing
  • M Shed, Bristol: A New Museum for Bristol
  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland Development
  • Riverside Museum, Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel, Glasgow: Riverside Museum Project
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, Devon: RAMM Development Project
  • The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: The Hepworth Wakefield
  • The Holburne Museum, Bath, Somerset: The Holburne Museum Development Project
  • The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh: Portrait of the Nation
  • Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent: Turner Contemporary
  • Watts Gallery, Guildford, Surrey: The Watts Gallery Hope Project

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