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Treasures of the Natural World, a one-of-a-kind exhibition that brings together the best of the Natural History Museum's collection, has opened at The Musée de la civilization in Quebec City. The opening marks the fourth stop of the exhibition's tour and a premiere in North America, which has so far enabled over half a million visitors to experience remarkable objects up close.
More than 200 specimens have been selected from the Natural History Museum London’s collection for their scientific, historic and cultural importance. The collection traces a centuries-long quest to understand the natural world, from the Enlightenment through to the present day. Many of the items inspired scientific discoveries that changed how we see the world. They reveal historic tales of adventure and provide insights into some of the world's greatest scientific minds.
Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, says: “By sharing these treasures beyond London we aim to inspire a wider audience and encourage global scientific collaboration. At a time when humanity needs to answer important questions regarding our impact on the planet, we believe that an understanding of the natural world is key to protecting it. We hope that visitors to the exhibition will enjoy viewing some of the most iconic and scientifically valuable examples of the London’s Natural History Museum’s collection and perhaps be inspired to become the scientists of tomorrow working on a sustainable future for us all.”
Highlights of the exhibition include specimens from the personal collections of Charles Darwin that laid the foundations for his theory of evolution through natural selection, and a rare original page of his handwritten On the Origins of Species manuscript. Visitors will also see an Iguanodon bone that helped give dinosaurs their name, an exquisite glass octopus model, and a case of hummingbirds, first displayed at Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's Great Exhibition in London in 1851. On display are items collected by some of the world’s most celebrated scientific minds including Mary Anning, William Smith, Alfred Russel Wallace and Professor Sir Richard Owen, founder of the Natural History Museum, London. The Musée de la civilization has also added carefully curated Canadian treasures to the exhibition. These include a polar bear skeleton, a complete minke whale skeleton and objects that once belonged to eminent Canadian scientists William Dawson and Léon Provencher, who contributed to our understanding of the natural world.
Treasures will run from 15 May 2019 until 5 January 2020 and is being showcased at The Musée de la civilization in Quebec City, Canada.
Notes for editors
Visitor information: The Treasures exhibition in the Cadogan Gallery at the Natural History Museum, London, remains open during the Treasures of the Natural World tour.
Images: Available on request.
The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity.
The Natural History Museum is the most visited natural history museum in Europe and the top science attraction in the UK; we welcome around five million visitors each year and our website receives over 850,000 unique visitors a month. People come from around the world to enjoy our galleries and events and engage both in-person and online with our science and educational activities through innovative programmes and citizen science projects.
Musée de la civilisation is a place of inquiry, study and documentation that seeks to understand and interpret the world. Its research activities make the institution a national reference. Research activities at the Musée de la civilisation lead to long-term collaborations with various universities and museums, both nationally and internationally. These activities promote the sharing and exchange of knowledge between disciplines. Musée de la civilisation is also often invited to contribute to various exhibition projects in Québec and elsewhere, making its professionals very active in national and international networks.