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ROM drops controversial Crystal from new logo

Five years after it opened its $300-million expansion, the Royal Ontario Museum is dropping the controversial Crystal from its logo. In a move to focus on its collections rather than its building as it approaches centennial celebrations in 2014, the ROM is replacing the jagged angles of its roof-line with a simpler design featuring a big round O that can accommodate images of sculptures, shells or dinos.

"The Crystal served us well; it was a great logo for a building project but as we come into our centennial we want to focus on the heart of the museum: the collections," ROM director Janet Carding said in an interview Tuesday after announcing the change.

Carding said visitor surveys have found some public confusion about what the museum offers; the new logo (designed by LaPlaca Cohen, a cultural marketing consultant based in New York ), which can feature images of artifacts in the O, is only the most visible part of a reorganization that will divide the museum into eight easily identifiable subject areas, including such topics as ancient cultures, biodiversity, fossils and evolution, and Canada.

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The ROM, which receives about a million visitors a year, has been working to draw more people to the attention-getting building designed by international architect Daniel Libeskind. It lowered ticket prices in 2011, and recently announced a plan to soften its Bloor Street plaza with new landscaping.

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Kate Taylor is lead film critic at the Globe and Mail and a columnist in the arts section. More

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