Sir Roger goes undercover for Kelvingrove redisplay
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Sir Roger goes undercover for Kelvingrove redisplay

Sir Roger
30/09/2015
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum’s popular Life Gallery is to be redesigned to enable intriguing new specimens from the Natural History and World Cultures collections to be prepared and displayed.  To realise this exciting development for one of Scotland’s most popular attractions the gallery will close to the public from 5pm on Sunday 4th October until early 2016.  No other galleries within Kelvingrove Museum will be closed.
 
The Life Gallery, situated in the museum’s West Court, is currently home to Sir Roger the Asian elephant and the Spitfire and is consistently one of the most popular areas for families and children in Kelvingrove.  The iconic Spitfire suspended in Kelvingrove for almost 10 years is due to be lowered to the ground for a check-up. This scheduled work, which requires the Life Gallery to close, provides an opportunity for changes to be made in the gallery and new displays to be created.
 
Conservator of Natural History, Laurence Simmen and Natural Sciences Research Manager Richard Sutcliffe began preparations to protect the animals during the redisplay, covering Sir Roger to make him ready for moving.  Sir Roger will go back on display when the redesigned gallery opens early next year.
 
After listening to the views of visitors, museum designers have developed new family-focused displays, such as the story of the Serengeti animal migration and life in the forests of India.  Amongst the exciting new specimens Glasgow Museums hope to feature are a wandering albatross, some artic terns and the smallest of the big cats, a leopard, donated to the city from Glasgow Zoo, which has been in cold storage at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre for several years. 
 
The creation of the new gallery is a two-year project, with the first phase starting in on 5th October 2015 until early 2016.  The final phase of the work will take place in winter 2016.
 
Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “This is an exciting day for Kelvingrove; it marks the first step in the first significant development of the Life Gallery since the museum reopened almost 10 years ago. 
 
“After delighting literally millions of visitors Sir Roger and the other animals will take a short break and be off display to enable the Spitfire to be lowered for checks.  People have until Sunday evening to wander among the animals, after that they will be able to look down from the upper galleries and watch the Spitfire being worked upon. 
 
“This is a great opportunity for the city to showcase more of its stunning natural history collection.  Once the gallery reopens early next year, the many citizens and visitors who flock to Kelvingrove every year will be able to marvel at some new and incredibly interesting animals.”
 
A public consultation in Spring 2014 has informed the displays, object selection and design. Research highlighted that visitors wanted to know where in the world the animals on display come from, what they eat, how long they live and other ecological information.  The new displays will group animals, plants and some geological and world cultures objects from the same areas of the world in distinct eco-zones, and consider that migratory species may live in multiple eco-zones.  It is hoped this will give people a better understanding of what lives where and why and the relationships that exist between species, especially those which migrate, and the many barriers which prevent other animals moving from one eco-zone to another.
 
The eco-zones that will be linked by the artic tern’s annual journey include Australasia, Antarctica Afrotropical, Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceania and Palaearctic.  There will be a further section on conservation, which will look at some conservation issues from around the world, such as endangered species, the destruction of habitats and the effect of pollution. 
 
Those wishing to donate to the Life Gallery redesign can text WEST COURT to 70300 to give £3, pick up a leaflet in Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, or donate online at www.glasgowlife.org.uk/support-us.  Donations can be also be made in designated donation boxes located at the West Court area of the museum.  Donations can be made before 29 January 2016.  All donors will be recognised on an exhibition thank you panel or be credited digitally.
For more information visit insert www.glasgowmuseums.com.
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