Tennessee State Museum opens in new home
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Tennessee State Museum opens in new home

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Tennessee State Museum has reopened following a US$160m relocation to a new site.

The museum now features six permanent exhibitions, charting the story of the state of Tennessee from 13,000BC to present day.

Located in the state capital, Nashville, the museum also has exhibitions displaying the work of Tennessean multimedia artist Red Grooms, the musical heritage of the state – home to the legendary country music venue the Grand Ole Opry – and artefacts from World War 1.

There is also a new Children’s Gallery and Digital Learning Center at the museum, which has reopened in Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, having previously based on the lower levels of the James K. Polk State Office Building.

"A lot of work has gone into this project, and I’m pleased to say that it is on time and under budget," Tennessee governor Bill Haslam said.

"Our goal was to build a museum that would, 100 years from now, reflect something that Tennesseans will be proud of and that would still be a vital part of Bicentennial Mall.

"I believe we’ve exceeded that goal with a space to showcase the rich history of our state and provide a memorable experience to visitors of all ages."

In 2015, Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly appropriated US$120 million (€104.5m, £92.3m) to build a new home for the museum with the additional funding to complete the project to be raised in private contributions.

The former Tennessee State Museum had seen around 115,000 visitors come through its doors annually. This new venue, however, is expected to attract over 220,000 visitors per year.

Speaking at the museum’s opening ceremony, US Senator Lamar Alexander said: "40 years ago, I walked across Tennessee in my campaign for governor, 1022 miles from Maryville to Mountain City to Memphis. My walk took six months.

"Today, in this magnificent new Tennessee State Museum you can walk across the state in 30 minutes and get to know the state pretty well.

"Even a short walk in the Children’s Gallery will give you a taste of the treasures assembled in this museum or take a different kind of walk through the Tennessee Time Tunnel from prehistoric days until today."

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Six permanent exhibitions ranging from 13,000 BC to present day are on show, telling the story of the state of Tennessee, USA, at the newly reopened Tennessee State Museum.
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