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London’s Natural History Museum

A look inside London’s Natural History Museum, still closed due to the pandemic

The world’s museums have been resembling scenes from the 2006 comedy film “Evening on the Museum.” They have been quiet, empty and vacant.

Guests are nowhere to be discovered, with an estimated 90% of museums closed because of COVID-19. That features the Pure Historical past Museum in London.

On a typical day, 15,000 folks go to the museum, however now, a skeleton workers of simply 20 folks stroll its halls. The displays could also be in hibernation however conservator, Claire Kelly, is as busy as ever searching down the most important risk to the museum: moths.

“There’s an actual subject with taxidermy as a result of the pests will assault the fur,” Kelly informed CBS Information’ Holly Williams.

Conservators who spend their day cleansing and dusting rooms filled with large mammals stated in some methods, the lockdown has been a chance to deep clear.

“Yeah, it has been form of a little bit of a silver lining, I suppose, with lockdown, as a result of we, sadly, have no guests for the time being, work that we would usually should be doing both actually early within the morning or late at evening, within the day we have now obtained the time to really come by and work by all these galleries,” Robert McCleod stated.

The museum can also be fixing its roof placing “Sophie,” the world’s most full Stegosaurus skeleton and normally one of many museum’s hottest displays, inside a mesh cage.

Cameras at one level have been a well-recognized web site to the museum — Sir David Attenborough filmed a documentary about it. The museum additionally performed a starring function within the 2014 blockbuster film “Paddington.”

The halls are not lit by digital camera lights; as a substitute they’re crammed with an eerie feeling.

“Is it a bit spooky generally being in right here and being in rooms filled with skeletons,” Williams requested Lorraine Cornish, the museum’s head of conservation.

“It is like that recreation of statues the place you progress round after which when somebody appears at you, keep nonetheless,” she stated. “So generally I really feel that they are all similar to having a celebration. After which I flip round they usually’re all nonetheless, simply my lively creativeness, I feel.”

She’s labored on the Pure Historical past Museum for 40 years. The museum first opened in 1881. Cornish stated the constructing was bombed by German plane through the blitz, although lots of its most treasured specimens had already been moved to the countryside for security. World Conflict II additionally noticed a part of the museum develop into a workshop for British intelligence the place she stated ingenious devices for spies have been made.

However the museum had by no means seen something just like the coronavirus pandemic, an invisible enemy that is stored guests out for a lot of the final 12 months. Cornish stated the displays themselves are craving to be seen.

“They’re ready they usually’re prepared they usually simply need to welcome folks again,” she stated.

Within the bowels of the constructing, conservators are making preparations for when the museum reopens to the general public in Might. Due to the quiet workforce of individuals defending this treasure trove, the historical past of the pure world and its extraordinary evolution is simply months away from being proven once more.