Three Newfoundland museums to become one site

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ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland -- Three museums situated at different sites here will move at the end of 2003 into a single structure.

The complex, called The Rooms, will open to the public in spring 2004 and will house the Newfoundland Museum, the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The first two museums will be relocating from downtown sites; the art museum will be moving from the campus of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, also in St. John's.

The new structure on the site of Fort Townsend will permit proper display and storage of priceless heritage resources that are now housed in buildings never intended for their current use, according to provincial tourism officials.

The museums' collections include items recovered from the Titanic; rare 17th century maps; prehistoric Aboriginal artifacts, and works by artists such as Christopher Pratt.

The individual identity of each museum will be maintained, and environmental controls will permit the storage of delicate collections.

Furthermore, the Art Gallery will be able to display traveling exhibitions, which it cannot handle at its present location.

Other pluses for visitors are the panoramic view from the new location, which overlooks St. John's and the Atlantic; a gift shop, and a restaurant.

St. John's two major hotels are the Fairmont and Delta.

For information on group rates, contact The Rooms' offices at (709) 729-5002 or Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Box 8700, St. John's, NF Canada, A1B4J6.

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