Thursday, June 10, 2010

Natural History Museum

The Dublin Natural History Museum re-opened a little while ago so I went along to do some sketching. We used to go there a lot back in college and it was quite a weird experience, returning to a place I know well, but haven't visited in years. It's pretty much the same except you're now greeted by a huge wall rather than the view of the giant Irish Elk. Plus the upper levels are still off limits until they figure out how to build a staircase that won't fall down and hurt people. I hear they have top men working on it. Top. Men.


Will Sliney said...

Nice Bats

Stephen Mooney said...

I went in the day they re-opened, after a ridiculously-eager wait, only to be underwhelmed by the almost zero changes they made during the 2yrs plus closure. All the exhibits got a spring clean I guess, and they slightly re-arranged the lower floor cabinets, but nothing much else besides the new entrance wall and a coat of paint on the insides.
Disgusted. I loved that place as a kid and still do now, but for jaysis sake can Ireland gets its act together just this once. Any tourist that visits the museum will discover that 50% of the exhibits aren't accessible to the public, purely because the museum can't fund fire exits up there. I talked to the curator about it and he's as pissed off as everybody else. It must be frustrating being asked 200 times a day, 'can we go upstairs now?'
Nice bats Thomps.

Stephen Thompson said...

Well personally I was hoping they wouldn't change anything, it's one of the only Victorian museums left in the British Isles in it's original state. The giant wall as you walk in is terrible though, it completely kills that great view down the main hall that used to greet you. But 're-opening' a museum when the top 50% is still off limits is ridiculous, I'd would've preferred if they'd just waited another year and finished the job.

JayKent said...

went a couple of days after opening and the wall is totally bonkers as it kills the entrance view. Still love the Moose, has to be my favourite altough partial to their Birds espeacially the Wren! :) (shameless plug, don't worry , hit myself)

Liam Geraghty said...

Bit late adding to this, but yeah I was fuming to turn up and find out that they'd closed it for two years and changed barely anything. Why bother closing it all if they didn't have significant changes to make. I mean I know they ran out of funds last year but reiterating what Thompson said, the museum building itself is part of the fascination of the place. Fix the stairs, then re-open.

One of my favourite pieces in there is the dodo skeleton on the very top floor but what's this? It's closed. I asked one of the guys in there when it would be re-opened and he just shrugged and said "not any time soon. Needs fire exits."

Whew. Glad I got that out of my system here. I had my trigger finger on Joe Duffy speed dial.

Great sketches.