History and heritage: What we may have lost in museum fire | india | Hindustan Times
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History and heritage: What we may have lost in museum fire

Delhi’s National Museum of Natural History, which was ravaged in a blaze on Tuesday, might have lost thousands of rare flora and fauna specimens, including a 160-million-year-old fossil bone of the Indian sauropod dinosaur.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2016 15:24 IST
HT Correspondent
A  dinosaur replica at the National Museum of Natural History. (HT file photo)
A dinosaur replica at the National Museum of Natural History. (HT file photo)

Delhi’s National Museum of Natural History, which was ravaged in a blaze on Tuesday, might have lost thousands of rare flora and fauna specimens, including a 160-million-year-old fossil bone of the Indian sauropod dinosaur.

The 38-year-old museum had a rich collection that included tiger, leopard and herpetological specimens, preserved butterflies and pre-historic fossils.

It was set up in 1972 on World Environment Day and opened to the public in 1978. The musueum was conceptualised by Indira Gandhi after the first UN conference on environment and was based on a UNESCO design

A new museum will cost an estimated Rs 225 crore.

What might have been lost:

  • Rare stuffed black tiger
  • Replica of India’s last wild cheetah
Children inside the National Museum of Natural History at National Archives, New Delhi. (Girish Srivastava/HT Photo)
  • Specimens of different kinds of leopards
Children inside the National Museum of Natural History at National Archives, New Delhi. (Girish Srivastava/HT Photo)
  • Wild butterflies collected by the Zoological Survey of India
  • Rare plant species collected by Botanical Survey of India
  • Dinosaur fossil
A view inside the Natural History section of the Museum. (HT file photo)
  • Stuffed peacock
  • Frogs and toads gone missing from India
  • Sauropod fossils - a collection of bird eggs, including an endangered ostrich and long-billed vulture
Indira Gandhi visiting the exhibition called ‘Environment the Choice before US’ organized by the Department of Environment and National Museum of Natural History in New Delhi on September 3, 1981.
The Environment Section of the National Museum of Natural History. (Santosh Gupta/HT photo)