September 8, 2009

London Museum Opens Charles Darwin Exhibit

On Tuesday, London's Natural History Museum unveiled an eight-story extension to house the collections of Charles Darwin.

The cocoon shaped addition to the imposing Victorian museum includes the Darwin Centre, which is a state-of-the-art research and exhibition facility named after the father of the theory of evolution.

The new ultra-modern white building cost $129 million and houses 17 million insect specimens, three million plant specimens and contains a Climate Change Wall of screens that shows the impact of global warming.

Sharon Ament, director of public engagement at the museum, said the new addition "will really show our visitors why and how our scientists tackle some of the most pressing issues we face today -- from the spread of disease to the impact of climate change on the planet's wildlife."

Michael Dixon, the museum director, said he hopes that the extension will bring more visitors on top of the 3.8 million that already come each year. 

"There seems to be a public appetite for being more involved and knowing more about the big environmental issues of the day," he said.

The Darwin Centre is opening to the public on September 15.


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