I attended a preview of the Natural History Museum’s new Treasures gallery, which showcases the Museum’s 22 most valuable exhibits, carefully chosen from its collection of some 70 million objects and specimens.
The new exhibition reframes the chosen treasures to emphasise the scientific, aesthetic and historical importance of the Museum’s collection. Highlights include the very first adult Neanderthal skull ever discovered, the Archaeopteryx fossil which shows an evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds, the piece of Moon Rock gifted to Britain in 1973 by Richard Nixon, and pages from the most expensive book in the world, John James Audubon’s exquisitely illustrated Birds of America, full versions of which have sold for £7.3 million.
Each exhibit is accompanied by a user-friendly touch-screen reader to explain its significance, linked to online resources accessible via smartphone so visitors can follow their favourite pieces to areas of the Museum where similar items are on display.
The gallery opens to the public on 30 November and is a free, permanent exhibition.