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The Royal Albert Museum in Exeter has won the 2012 Art Fund Prize for Museums and Galleries. Reopened in December 2011 after a £24 million revamp, the museum has scooped a £100,000 prize along with the award.

The 144-year-old museum faced competition from 3 other museums on the shortlist to take the coveted prize. The title is awarded to the museum or gallery that impresses the most on originality and excellence, although the Royal Albert was commended on its ambition and imagination.

Holidaymakers staying in Devon cottages and hotels have flocked to the museum since its refurbishment, where they have seen a completely reinterpreted display of the museum’s collection. It has been labelled a ‘magical place’ by some visitors.

Exeter Council are said to be over the moon at winning the prize fund. It is not yet known where in the museum the money will be invested, but it is sure to improve the already impressive resource.