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National Portrait Gallery Ready for Its Closeup

Washington, D.C., a city of museums, is shaking the dust from one of its signature collections. The National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum will reopen to the public after years of renovation.

The museums are part of the vast Smithsonian Institution. They're housed in the Patent Office Building, a mid-19th century Greek revival structure occupying a double-sized city block.

Mark Pachter, the director of the National Portrait Gallery, offers a sneak peek.

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Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.