Icelandic Museum of Natural History Gets New Facilities Skip to content

Icelandic Museum of Natural History Gets New Facilities

ni-logoThe Icelandic Museum of Natural History recently moved to a new building on Urridaholtsstraeti 6-8 in Gardabaer outside Reykjavík, which is designed specifically to suit its purposes.

The 121-year-old institution has been waiting for permanent facilities for 50 years. Until now the museum has been located in temporary facilities where it has been subject to leaks and other hazards.

The new building is 3,500 square meters in size. Part of its operations take place in Akureyri where its plant research center is located, Morgunbladid reports.

According to Jón Gunnar Ottósson, director of the Icelandic Museum of Natural History, the move entails a revolution in the museum’s research, education, academic cooperation and preservation of objects.

Some of the museum’s objects have yet to be moved to the new location, for example an extensive collection of Icelandic ocean sponges which are currently being preserved by the Danish Museum of Natural History.

“We had to keep them out there because we haven’t had the facilities to preserve them here at home. But that will change now,” Ottósson said.

The institution serves various purposes. One of its main roles is to register information regarding Icelandic nature, monitor animal and plant species and provide consultancy, for example in connection with hunting and power plant construction. The Natural History Museum also measures the volume of pollen in the air.

“The group of employees is rather special,” Ottósson commented. “A combination like that can hardly be found at any other workplace in the country. We employ entomologists, map makers, taxidermists, mycologists and ornithologists to name a few.”

The future location of the museum’s exhibition space, which since 2007 has been in the hands of the museum Náttúruminjasafn Íslands on Sudurgata in Reykjavík, has not been determined yet.

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