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Celebrating 165 years of the South Australian Museum

June 18 marks the 165th anniversary of the South Australian Museum, and to commemorate the milestone, the Museum launched in April its landmark exhibition, Wonders.

Running until August 8 and curated by Nat Williams, Wonders will bring the stories of 165 incredible objects – most never seen before – to life from across the Museum’s collection of more than 4 million objects, in an attempt to represent the Museum’s 165 year history.

Marvel at a fragment of Mars which fell to earth in Egypt in 1911, be amazed at the size of giant sloth bones that were found in Argentina in 1787 and gaze at a Venus’ Flower Basket, an exquisite glass sponge found in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean. These are just some of the many extraordinary objects that will be on show.

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Wonders Exhibition at South Australian Museum

“These stories, selected from the Museum’s vast collection, are fundamental to understanding and documenting the history, cultures and natural history of South Australia,” South Australian Museum Director Brian Oldman said

“Approximately 27,000 people have already visited Wonders since its opening in April, and it’s on track to be one of the most visited exhibitions at the South Australian Museum to date. Wonders is for lovers of fascinating stories, whatever your age. We encourage everyone to come and experience this extraordinary collection – a fitting tribute to our 165-year milestone.”

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SA Museum Alive with Wonder

Some of the items on show include the Virgin Rainbow, the “most spectacular piece of opal ever unearthed” from the desert soil of Cooper Pedy, a fragment of Mars the Nakhla Martian meteorite which fell Egypt in 1911, giant sloth bones that were found in Argentina in 1787, the first gold specimen mined in Australia, and a Venus Flower Basket glass sponge, a latticelike intricate marine sponge found in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Home to more than four million incredible objects

Mr Oldman said the South Australian Museum was home to more than four million incredible objects, that are held in trust for all South Australians.

“We celebrate our 165th anniversary with all South Australians and hope to share in your sense of learning and discovery for many more years to come,” he said. “To ensure the preservation of the Museum’s lifeblood for future generations, we have launched the 165 Celebration Appeal to help strengthen and protect these globally significant stories.

SA museum

Travel in 2021 isn’t what it used to be, so South Aussies, get out there and celebrate our great state and visit all the incredible places and experiences it has to offer.

Wonders from the South Australian Museum gives us all the opportunity to rediscover the Museum and experience curious and extraordinary objects from our collection.

Best of all, it’s free!

Wonders from the South Australian Museum runs until Sunday 8 August. Entry is free.

For more information:

samuseum.sa.gov.au/event/Wonders

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