MUSEUMS WEEK ON YOUR DOORSTEP

The third national Museums Week gets underway today (to 25 May) at venues around the UK. The annual celebration of Britain's cultural heritage has helped to kick into touch any lingering images of ancient displays lurking in dusty cases, with the emphasis now being very much on hands-on experiences. With this in mind, one of this year's themes is "Behind the Scenes" (three venues to head for are the

International

Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare and the Museum of Rugby at Twickenham) and "Hidden Treasures".

With a record 863 participating museums, there will be something to appeal to all tastes. Among the highlights are a musical trail through Holst's Birthplace museum in Cheltenham, and "Dinosaurs of the Gobi Desert" at The Natural History Museum (left) which boasts 80- million-year-old fossils from Mongolia. And the goriest event: a Victorian amputation "demonstration" at London's Old Operating Theatre Museum.

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