Treasures at the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is full of treasures, but with around 70 million different specimens in their collection they don’t all make it onto display.  In response to them having some incredible items that never get the display time they need they have opened a brand new permanent gallery in which they can exhibit some of the very extra special items that they usually keep locked away in the vaults.

Photo by whatleydude
Photo by whatleydude

The new exhibition is sure to be a hit with visitors to the museum as it contains everything from prehistoric remains through to rocks from the surface of the moon. Each of the 22 special treasures on show has been specially selected to highlight all that is good about the museum. What makes the exhibition even more special is that all of the treasures on display have their own unique back story which adds to the depth of the experience for the visitor. The new gallery opened on the 30th November 2012 and looks set to be one of the biggest attractions at the museum after the dinosaurs.

Treasures on View

All of the twenty two unique treasures that the museum has put on display are all presented on plinths made from black granite and in specially designed atmospheric lighting. Each treasure has its own interactive information display giving you its background story and the reason why it has been specially selected for the treasures exhibition. The gallery walls boast beautiful stained glass windows and if visitors cast their eyes skywards they will be able to view the incredible Oak Tree art installation on the gallery ceiling, created by Tanya Kovats in honour of Charles Darwin’s bicentenary celebrations.

Exhibition Highlights

All of the exhibits are special, and all are really highlights of everything that the museum has to offer. However there are a couple of items that stand out from the rest.

  • Guy The Gorilla: After arriving at London Zoo on Bonfire Night in 1947, Guy lived at the zoo and became a major attraction loved by the nation as a whole. This beautiful gentle giant passed away during dental surgery in 1978. It took nine months for taxidermist Arthur Hayward to prepare Guy to be on display to the nation once more, looking as majestic and noble as he ever did.
  • Skull of a Barbary Lion: Not just any old lion though. This skull was unearthed in the moat of the Tower of London in 1937 and is believed to have once been part of the Royal Menagerie that was once housed there over seven hundred years ago. It is also believed to be the oldest example of a lion discovered in the UK since the native wild lions that lived here became extinct.
  • Moon Rock: The piece of moon rock on display here was presented to the UK by then US President Richard Nixon after the last of the manned Apollo missions to the moon, it is the only piece of authentic moon rock owned by the United Kingdom.

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