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The U.S. company Boeing has just donated 30 million dollars to the Museum of Air and Space in Washington for the renovation of its entrance. This donation will also help Boeing in their aim of developing educational programmes that will educate young Americans to careers in engineering and aviation.

Nearly 40 years after its inauguration, the museum entrance will therefore be given a facelift for the millions of tourists who come to admire the Spirit of St. Louis or the Wright brothers' Flyer airplane.

The renovation, at the expense of the manufacturer based just across the Potomac, in Virginia, will be a showcase for the American company that, despite its cheque, has no right in the choice of the exhibits.

Steve Lott, spokesman – Boeing :

''Boeing, or any donor, can't dictate or tell the museum what they should, or should not show in, the exhibits, however, the Boeing name will be on one of the halls, it's going to be the ''Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall'', in the main part of the museum, but beyond that recognition we don't have any say in terms of which artefacts will be shown in the exhibit, but again it's about highlighting the history of this aerospace industry as well as looking at the future.''

No new Boeing 'plane here, therefore. The exhibits will simply be reorganized although enhanced by adding more modernity and interactivity in their presentation. Access to the museum will also be free.

Steve Lott, Spokesman – Boeing :

''Our goal is to inspire the next generation, to get students inspired, to help teachers, to help parents, really show them some of the excitement about astro and aerial aviation and really get them interested, and we'll certainly want them to come back to the museum over and over again, but we want them to go home, and perhaps some of those students, and some of those kids, will be excited and want to choose that as a career.''

Another goal for Boeing in donating this gift is to attract future workers to the world of aviation and engineering. Over the past 15 years, Boeing has already given 30 million dollars to the Museum of Air and Space; an outlay that is worth it, according to Steve Lott.

Steve Lott, Spokesman – Boeing :

''We do have a very active, what they call Corporate Citizenship Progamme, so being good corporate citizens, we donate money and we give gifts to other musems, to other arts institutions, to perfomances. The bulk of our giving is in the United States, but we do quite a bit around the world. Globally we do tens of millions of dollars around the world in key markets; in Europe, in Asia, and Latin America, right now, for example, we recently gave a gift, we're sponsoring a programme in Brazil.''

Via these various progammes the American manufacturer distributed nearly 180 million dollars last year. In Washington, the work should start on the museum by the end of this year and be completed in 2016; a big year for Boeing since it's their centenary.

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