Edinburgh announces its Festival of Museums line-up

An Edwardian murder mystery, a Venetian masked ball and an 18th century extravaganza...

...Edinburgh's museums service are making plans to lay on a splendid line-up of events to mark the national Festival of Museums weekend this summer.

Following the overwhelming success of last year's celebrations, Council venues will again play host to a variety of exciting events that will form part of a Europe-wide celebration of museums on 18-20 May.

Lauriston Castle is planning a Downton Abbey-style murder mystery event called 'Death over Dinner' and a Venetian Masked Ball, with music from students of the City of Edinburgh Music School.

On Saturday 19 May the City Art Centre will plan a day of creative workshops around the theme of 'The Enchanted Garden', whilst on Sunday 20 May the Museum of Edinburgh will hold an afternoon celebrating the music, food and costume of the 18th century.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for Edinburgh, said: "The Festival of Museums events are designed to showcase some of the best of what Edinburgh's fantastic museums and galleries have to offer. We're hoping visitors will be delighted and surprised with our weekend of events that will offer something different for people of all ages.

"We're also planning to get young people involved again this year, with students from Edinburgh's Telford College exhibiting their work at Lauriston Castle and young musicians from the City of Edinburgh Music School performing over the weekend."

The 2012 Festival of Museums programme is being organised by Museums Galleries Scotland in partnership with Culture24's Museums at Night and the Europe-wide celebration La Nuit des Musées.

Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: "Festival of Museums allows museums and galleries nationwide to collaborate on this celebration of Scotland's living culture while simultaneously highlighting to people how museums and galleries offer great-value days out, all year round."

"We invite all museums and galleries in Scotland to get involved in delivering what promises to be an entertaining and stimulating weekend. Through partnership working we strive to create a packed events-programme that offers something for everyone, and showcases the very best of what our museums and galleries have to offer."

Last year's event was the first of its kind in Scotland and Edinburgh's Museums and Galleries hosted an exhibition, several workshops, two ambitious fashion shows and family fun day around the theme of hats and unique headgear.

Some of the highlights included Hat Tricks with Felicity Faichney, From Bustles to Freedom & The Japanese Influence with Bertha Walker, Fabulous Fascinators & Animal Headgear with Lindsey Hamilton, Animal Masks & Wacky Hat-Making with Morag MacDonald and an ambitious Hatwalk Fashion Show featuring high profile milliner Felicity Faichney, in the evening.

The Festival of Museums events programme will be available to explore online from March at www.festivalofmuseums.com.

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