Museum status for David Livingstone visitor centre

MUSEUM accreditation has been awarded to one of Scotland's top visitor attractions.

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The David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire was given the accreditation by the National Trust for Scotland.

This announcement came as a programme of events to mark the 200th anniversary of the celebrated explorer's birth was launched.

The David Livingstone Centre is the missionary's birthplace and includes the single-room tenement where he was born and raised.

It is home to hundreds of artefacts collected by Dr Livingstone during his work in Africa including the medical and scientific instruments that saw him through thousands of miles of uncharted country and the detailed journals he wrote.

Now repairs and improvements are being planned for the historic buildings, collection and landscape in a bid to guarantee its future.

Dr Livingstone rose from poverty to live an extraordinary life as an explorer, missionary and medic.

Thought to be the first European to view the falls on the Zambezi River, he was to name the beauty spot the Victoria Falls.

He advanced the use of quinine to fight malaria and campaigned to bring an end to slavery in East Africa - leading to his title as Africa's first freedom fighter.

As part of the David Livingstone 200 project, which aims to celebrate his extraordinary life, a number of exhibitions, events and activities have been organised by groups across Scotland and Africa.

The first of the these is the Dr Livingstone, I presume? outreach sessions for children run by the Royal Zoological Society focusing on the explorer's relationship with African wildlife.

The accreditation now allows the centre to call itself a museum and will open the way for funding applications.

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