Treasures of the Natural World shine at Melbourne Museum

From London's Natural History Museum comes an extraordinary journey through fascinating objects that changed the way we understand the world.

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly. Source: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Treasures of the Natural World, a one-of-a-kind exhibition that brings together the best of London's Natural History Museum's collection, comes to Australia for the first time in May 2020. Visitors to Melbourne Museum will experience remarkable objects up close and learn how they changed the way we understand the world.

More than 200 specimens from the Natural History Museum’s immense collections show the marvels of our natural world. From the unique or extremely rare to the mysterious and astonishing, each and every one of these invaluable objects have been carefully selected for its historical importance and its contribution to science. Many of the items on display inspired scientific discoveries that changed how we understand life on Earth and provide insights into some of the world's greatest scientific minds.

‘This exhibition is an Australian-first and will bring a rare collection of fascinating objects that have changed history to Victoria. Their discovery, and the unconventional minds behind them, remind us how curiosity and creativity enrich our lives,’ said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley.

Highlights of the exhibition include objects from the personal collections of Charles Darwin that inspired his theory of evolution through natural selection. Visitors will also see a rare Martian meteorite that fell to Earth in 1911, 11 million years after it was blasted into space. Also on display is a 200 million-year-old Ichthyosaurus fossil found by English fossil collector Mary Anning when she was just 11 years old. Melbourne Museum's interpretation of the exhibition will be enriched by the addition of First Peoples’ narratives, which represents an important step in acknowledging the complex history of some of these objects, and respecting the deep relationship First Peoples have with the natural world.

Museums Victoria director and CEO Lynley Crosswell explains the vital importance of natural history collections in understanding our planet’s extraordinary biodiversity and how it is being impacted by our changing environment.

'We are delighted to bring this incredible exhibition to Melbourne Museum. Each of these extraordinary objects—from the exquisitely beautiful to the extremely rare—has a remarkable story and reveals how our understanding of the world has changed.'

The exhibition shows how, through the ongoing study of these natural treasures, there is always more to learn. Treasures of the Natural World will inspire and educate the scientists and decision-makers of the future.

A fantastic journey full of fascinating objects, Treasures of the Natural World - produced and curated by the Natural History Museum, London - opens at Melbourne Museum on 22nd May, 2020. Tickets are on sale now.



For media and interview enquiries and please contact:

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Media and Communications Team
Museums Victoria
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0466 622 621

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