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Delaware Museum of Natural History seeking US$9.8m for total revamp

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The new museum will inspire people to discover, examine and uncover the wonders of science in the natural world

The Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, Delaware, has announced the launch of the Museum Metamorphosis capital campaign – a fundraising scheme aiming to raise US$9.8m (£7.6m, €9m) to invest in a major redesign of its galleries and public spaces.

With more than half of the budget raised so far, work is expected to begin in early 2021, when the museum will close for construction before reopening as the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science in 2022.

Set to be the largest expansion since the museum reopened in 1972, the redesign will see the museum move away from taxidermy exhibits, focusing instead on "experiential programmes, innovative exhibits, and 21st-century approaches to nature and science education."

The new programming is a result of more than four years of museum-held focus groups, community collaboration and institution consultation. It will include the Delaware Regional Journey Gallery; which will explore the biodiversity of the area, the Global Ecosystems Journey Gallery and the PaleoZone, a dinosaur gallery that will take visitors back in time.

An outdoor experience, the Evolution Trail will track the origins of life on Earth, while the Discovery Gallery will show the connections between science and nature, and the Research Headquarters will teach visitors about the cutting-edge research and science taking place at universities and conservation organisations.

"We're deeply appreciative of, and invigorated by, endorsements from many supporters who have told us; We see the need for your programmes, we agree with what you are doing. We are confident in your abilities, and we support where you are going," said museum board president Richard F. Cairns.

Halsey Spruance, executive director, said: "By switching from static, taxonomy-based dioramas to interactive, exosystem-base areas, the new museum will inspire people to discover, examine and uncover the wonders of science in the natural world."

The campaign has raised 54 per cent of its overall goal with funding provided by a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, while five federal, state and county government entities, six corporations, 15 foundations and 66 individuals have all made financial contributions.

It's the second capital campaign the museum has undertaken, having successfully completed a US$5m (£3.8m, €4.5m) campaign in 2005 that saw the addition of a new gallery for travelling exhibitions, as well as an entrance hall and a sky-lit atrium.

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The Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, Delaware, has announced the launch of the Museum Metamorphosis capital campaign, a fundraising scheme aiming to raise US$9.8m (£7.6m, €9m) to invest in a major redesign of its galleries and public spaces.
VAT,HAM
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