LONDON – The Natural History Museum in London has unveiled the new star of its reimagined Hintze Hall, launching the biggest transformation in the institution’s 136-year history. Officials unveiled a stunning 25.2 meter real blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling, which visitors can walk under and inspect overhead.
As work was undertaken on the 221 bones comprising Hope’s skeleton, past conservation treatments were evidenced, such as the use of newspapers in the 1930s to fill the gaps between the vertebrae. Natural History Museum conservators were able to use new methods for the first time, including 3D printing a small number of bones missing from the right flipper.
Hope was found stranded in Wexford Harbour, Ireland, in 1891, 10 years after the Natural History Museum opened in South Kensington, London. The whale was bought by the museum and its skeleton first went on display in the Mammal Hall in 1934.
For much more information on Hope and the project that led to today’s unveiling, visit the Natural History Museum online at www.nhm.ac.uk.
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