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The Peabody Essex Museum threw open its doors over the weekend to mark the opening of its newest wing, attracting thousands to explore the 40,000-square-foot addition.

Offering free admission Saturday and Sunday, the Salem museum held a public opening celebration, complete with live music and art-making. The $125 million expansion, designed by New York’s Ennead Architects, will provide a new school group entrance, three new galleries, an atrium, and a garden; with the wing’s opening, the Peabody Essex Museum is now considered one of the country’s largest museums to be located outside of a major metropolitan area.

Notable attendees included state Senator Joan B. Lovely, state Representative Paul F. Tucker, and Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll.

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Isaac Feldberg can be reached by email at isaac.feldberg@globe.com, or on Twitter at @isaacfeldberg.