More than 150 weird and wonderful natural history objects will be displayed in the Cascades Shopping Centre this half term.
From Friday 23 October, exotic objects including porcupine fish, birds from around the world, a sawfish saw, an alligator and decorated ostrich eggs will feature in three shop windows in the shopping centre.
The World of Wonder display has been put together by the Wild about Portsmouth team; a National Lottery Heritage-funded project which showcases Portsmouth’s natural history collections, through events, workshops, research and exhibitions.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development at Portsmouth City Council, said: “This collection houses some of the most fascinating pieces of natural history, brought back to the UK from scientists and explorers who travelled the world in the 19th century, collecting new and exciting wildlife. Having the items on display in such a public space allows more people to see them up close and get involved with the exhibition.”
Many of the objects on display were collected by HLF Guermonprez (1858 – 1924), a naturalist from Bognor Regis, who also bought exotic wildlife from auctions to create his own private museum.
The window displays, designed by Lewes-based artist Athena Jane Churchill, includes images of illustrations drawn by Guermonprez and his sister, Harriet.
Christine Taylor, Curator of Natural History at Portsmouth Museums, said: “We’re looking forward to showcasing some of Portsmouth’s most weird and wonderful pieces in the Cascades Shopping Centre and want members of the public to get involved and add to the display. You can download a butterfly or moth to decorate, and finished results will be displayed in one of the shop windows alongside butterflies and moths from the natural history collections.”
World of Wonder will be located at Unit 49 in the Cascades Shopping Centre from midday on Friday 23 October.
Find out more about the natural history collections at www.portsmouthnaturalhistory.co.uk.