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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, October 08, 2010

Come See "What's In the Basement"

The Utah Museum of Natural History has far more items than it can exhibit in its current building, so many items are stashed away in the basement. The museum and its supporters are working to raise funds for a bigger building that can display more treasures. Details.

Meanwhile, once a year the museum holds a “What's In the Basement” day, so people can see these items. Such an opportunity will happen this Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this this article about the event. Below are excerpts.

The museum’s mount shop will open its doors to show mock ups of the new “Utah Minerals” exhibit, a wall mounted with 50 fist-sized chunks of signature Utah minerals such as Park City pyrite, that have been hidden in collections for four decades. The specimens appear to float off the wall, said Will Clark, supervisor for exhibit services. Also mocked up are a series of 10 allosaurus femurs, the large bone of the upper leg, arranged in size from 10 to 36 inches. All were recovered from Utah’s famed Cleveland Lloyd quarry.

The museum has raised $86 million from private, federal and state sources, but a shortfall remains even as the building nears completion. The bond would go largely toward installing exhibits and other features with a public interface, said associate director Ann Hanniball.

More than 90 percent of the specimens to be displayed in the new museum come from stored collections, so most of the familiar exhibits, many on display since the museum opened in the historic Thomas Building in 1973, will be put away.

Saturday is the last “What’s in the Basement” in the old building before it closes Dec. 31, when the process of breaking down exhibits and moving begins. Officials hope to open the new museum next fall and the College of Science will renovate the Thomas building for its new headquarters.

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