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Collectors & Collections

January 2013

The launch of 'Wallace 100'

Posted by Julian Carter on 29 January 2013

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Bill Bailey launching the 'Wallace Letters Online' website. ©Natural History Museum

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Bill Bailey about to unveil the Alfred Russel Wallace portrait ©J.Beccaloni

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The unveiled portrait! ©Natural History Museum

On the evening of Thursday 24th January I was fortunate to be invited to the Natural History Museum in London. The event was for the unveiling of a portrait of the intrepid explorer and brilliant naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace by comedian and fellow naturalist Bill Bailey.

The painting was donated to the NaturalHistoryMuseum in 1923 to mark the 100th anniversary of Wallace's birth but was moved in 1971. It has now been restored and returned to its original position on the main stairs of the Central Hall, near to the Charles Darwin statue.

The unveiling of the painting also marked the official launch of Wallace100 and the Wallace Letters Online website, both of which are part of the celebrations for this year's centenary anniversary of Wallace's death.

Some famous names of the natural science world were in attendance at the launch including Sir David Attenborough, whose hand I got to shake!

A number of organisations in Wales, including Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, will be joining the Wallace 100 celebrations. The museum is planning a number of activities and events to run alongside our exhibition planned for later this year. Keep an eye on our website for further information.

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