National Museum to close for work

April 12, 2006 at 8:52 PM

WASHINGTON, April 12 (UPI) -- The National Museum of American History, the largest of its kind in the United States, will close on Labor Day for two years of refurbishing and expansion.

The museum holds 3 million artifacts including the U.S. flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."

A 2002 blue ribbon commission said the National Museum, the third-busiest of the Smithsonian museums, is unorganized and lacks space, The Washington Post reports.

The 42-year-old building on the Mall in Washington, D.C., will undergo $85 million of work before reopening in the summer of 2008.

A new gallery will be created for the flag that flew at Fort McHenry during the 1814 attack by the British, and a new welcome center will help direct patrons to various sites.

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