Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Museum für Naturkunde, which has just celebrated the restoration of its East Wing (destroyed by Allied bombing during WWII) by exhibiting a selection of the nearly 276,000 jars of specimens that are housed in the new storage facility. If you think that number's impressive, consider that according to the collection's curator, Peter Bartsch, they only broke six jars during the move to the new building. Also on display in the exhibit, which celebrates the Museum's 200th Anniversary, is a giant panda stuffed by Hermann Göring. According to the exhibit curator, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Damaschun, "We don’t know how it came into the collection, but we put it in the exhibition to show the difficulties the museum has had during different eras.” I suspect that deciding what to do with a panda that has been offered to you by Göring, while living in 1930s Germany, is the sort of accessioning conundrum that most of us will not have to face in our professional lifetimes. The exhibit is open from September 14 through February 28, 2011, and you can read more about it in Spiegel International.