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British Museum Reopens After Fire

Britain’s National Motorcycle Museum, ravaged by a fire 15 months ago, reopens December 1 after a $38.1 million restoration.
Restoration included work on the facility and nearly 650 motorcycles, and installation of a $2.28 million sprinkler system. A larger gift shop, conference facilities for over 5,000 delegates and better access for the disabled also were installed.
The fire, which occurred Sept. 16, 2003, was started when a carelessly discarded cigarette sparked a pile of air conditioning filters and cardboard boxes.
Owned by Roy Richards, the National Motorcycle Museum is a collection of five exhibition halls. First opened in 1984, the museum near Birmingham attracted approximately 250,000 visitors in 2002.
The museum will have approximately 650 machines on display at the re-opening. One bike per month is being restored, a museum spokesman told the BBC. He said the plan is to have 800 bikes on display by 2007.

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