Precious Things – University of Copenhagen

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Zoological Museum > Exhibitions > Precious Things

Precious Things

Major new permanent exhibition at the Zoological Museum

Denmark's huge new dinosaur “Misty” will be the big attraction at the new exhibition Precious Things, in the Zoological Museum. Misty will be accompanied by a range of the museum’s most beautiful and valuable treasures for the biggest ever exhibition in the museum.

Most museums have plenty of objects that people never see. Many unique items with great stories waiting to be told languish behind locked doors in storage facilities or down in cellars. The Zoological Museum is now opening up its archives to show off a wide range of the very best exhibits from the worlds of zoology, geology and botany.

As well as Misty, the attractions will include:

  • Lycosa danica, Denmark’s loneliest spider – the only specimen of its kind in the world, never seen anywhere else before or since its discovery

  • The dodo skull – one of only two in the world, from the now extinct bird that has become a symbol of man’s destruction of nature

  • Les Liliacées – a beautifully illustrated eight-volume history of lilies, a gift from Napoleon’s wife to a Danish botanist

  • The Isua rocks – which contain traces of the earliest life on Earth

  • Ichthyostega – was this animal water-based or land-based?

  • Skelettet fra en kaskelothval – der strandede ved Henne Strand i 2014

  • The skeleton of a sperm whale that ran aground on the beach at Henne in 2014

  • Forsskål’s “Fish Herbarium” – from the Arabian Expedition

  • The great auk – rare stuffed specimen of the now extinct flightless bird

  • Hans Christian Andersen’s snails – collected on his travels around Denmark

  • The Krasnojarsk meteorite – the museum’s first meteorite, from 1749

  • Preserved elephant foetus – from the Royal Danish Chamber of Art

  • The maned wolf – the museum’s oldest stuffed mammal

  • The heart of a Greenland whale, preserved in spirits

And a whole host of other fascinating items.

“We have 14 million objects in our collections, brought back from scientific expeditions around the world over the last 400 years. Each object has a unique story that deserves to be told, so choosing what to include hasn’t been easy,” says Joakim Engel, who is responsible for Precious.

“The exhibition is based on the stories behind the objects. How did they come to the museum? Why are they are so interesting? And what are the human stories behind them? Many of the objects are absolutely unique, but some are included simply because they are incredibly beautiful or especially fascinating. The most spectacular single object is, of course, Misty, but there will definitely be something for everyone – young and old alike,” he adds.