Parisian elephants back on parade


One of the world’s most spectacular museum galleries reopened last week after gathering dust for almost three decades. The Grande Galerie of the Natural History Museum in Paris was inaugurated by President Francois Mitterrand after a 420 million franc ( £50 million) facelift. The former Galerie de Zoologie opened in 1889 to exhibit specimens collected by travelling naturalists. It was badly damaged during the Second World War and was finally closed in 1965 after it was deemed unsafe. The collection of 7000 exhibits, which rivals those of the Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, includes Louis XV’s rhinoceros, the first ever to be preserved. The museum is divided into three ‘acts’: biodiversity, evolution and the human factor,
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