The National Museum of Natural History was destroyed in a massive fire, early Tuesday morning. The fire broke out on the top floor of the museum, located in FICCI Building in Mandi House, where some repair work was underway and quickly spread to all other floors of the building.
The museum was opened on June 5th, 1978 by former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi as part of her efforts to promote environmental awareness among people.
The museum exhibited a large number of taxidermic (stuffed) animals and specimens which were gutted in the fire.
Following is a list of exhibits that the Museum has on display.
The first gallery hosts a representation of the flora and fauna of the country. The first section of the gallery has a presentation of the evolution of life forms while the second section has a display of plants and animals in their natural habitat.
The second gallery made a display of few aspects of the natural environment such as the food chain, pollution and need for conservation.
Another gallery showcases several aspects of the need for conservation. For instance, the thoughtlessness of deforestation is depicted by a model of an over-sized human hand uprooting a tree. Such representations of depletion of wildlife, endangered species, pollution and so on are also on display.
The museum contains preserved butterflies and herpetological specimens.
“This is a rented property. It’s not the Ministry’s property, but a FICCI property. Therefore, we have limitations. The issue is that this is a real loss and we will assess the loss when the building is again handed over to us,” said Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar who visited the spot soon after the fire.
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