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Newcastle-upon-Tyne is home to several interesting museums that both tourists and locals will enjoy. Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, also known as TWAM is the city’s regional museum and art gallery service. Much like the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., TWAM is comprised of multiple museums throughout Tyne and Wear.
The three main museums in Newcastle are:The Laing Art Gallery This gallery is home to classic British works of art including oils, watercolours, ceramics, and other decorative arts. The museum recently won a prestigious Northern England tourism award. A recent redisplay of the regional collections "Northern Spirit" brings out the best of north east fine and decorative arts. There is also a changing programme of temporary exhibitions.
The Great North Museum: Hancock Opened in 2009 following a multi-million pound refurbishment of the old Hancock Museum; it includes a planetarium, a life-sized replica of a T-Rex skeleton, natural history, Egyptian mummies, Roman remains from Hadrian's Wall and a display on world cultures.
Discovery Museum focuses on the history of Newcastle and on science and technology. Highlights include Turbinia, the actual steam yacht designed by Sir Charles Parsons using the first steam turbines and the Story of the Tyne gallery showcasing the influence of the river on Newcastle's history. There are also displays of fashion and military history and plenty of interactive exhibitions for children of all ages. Discovery is also home to the BFI Mediatheque, with viewing facilities for film and TV archive, and Tyne & Wear Archives, which preserves and gives access to documentary heritage.
All TWAM's Newcastle venues have free admission.