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|Royal Boost for New Greenwich Planetarium|
- Queen to open Greenwich observatory, Duke to visit Cutty Sark
THE QUEEN is to perform ribbon-cutting duties today as the redeveloped Royal Observatory at Greenwich is unveiled.
Featuring a state-of-the-art planetarium, new galleries and a learning centre, the project cost UKP15 million and is expected to cater for over one million visitors a year.
The planetarium's design, conical rather than a traditional dome-shape, has caused some controversy, but its distinctive appearance could help it achieve icon status in the coming years.
The idea is "to inspire and motivate young people to be interested in science for their own greater fulfilment and for the better future of the UK," said Professor Paul Murdin, the Royal Observatory's astronomer.
Meanwhile, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is also due to visit the Royal Observatory today, is to nip down the hill to the river to take in the impact of yesterday’s fire on the Cutty Sark.
"The Duke takes a close interest in historic ships and their preservation for future generations and as president of the Cutty Sark Trust since 2000 he has been working closely with them in support of their fundraising," said a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.
The planetarium welcomes the public this Friday, 25 May.
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