A unique museum exhibit has been restored

03.12.2020

Today, December 3, 2020, the restored bust of the black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis, one of the most valuable specimens of the Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, was unveiled. The animal from which the work of art was made – a bust, or medallion, was captured on January 5, 1910 by brothers Wodzicki Jerzy and Alexander in central East Africa, then – the East African German Colony (DOA), which existed until 1918, before the defeat Germany in the First World War. The obtained rhinoceros had a length of 5 m, a height of 1.5 m, the first horn – 50 cm (thin), and the second horn – 25 cm.

For a long time this exhibit was privately owned, but in 1952, after J. Wodzicki's death, his wife Maria donated to the Zoological Museum a large collection of African animals and antelope horns, collected by her husband and his brother Alexander, during 1909-1910, and at the same time a bust of a black rhino.

The black rhino is a species of animal whose population is critically endangered. It is with this status that these animals appear in the International Conservation List.

The museum object was restored by a professional group of taxidermists of the State Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine – Viktor Shelvinskyi and Pavel Krochko and a sculptor – Marina Gorokhovska. The process, which lasted almost a month, brought the expected result. The bust of a rhinoceros is qualitatively restored and strengthened by modern preparations of taxidermic skill. And gratitude for the painstaking and very difficult work of the group of restorers will be constantly expressed by employees and visitors of the zoological museum. After all, this exhibit has an extraordinary aesthetic – as a work of art, cognitive – as an exotic animal species, educational – as a source of knowledge about African animals, historical – as an achievement of Lviv residents of the early twentieth century and scientific value – as a properly designed museum model.

Below are photos of a rhino bust before, during and after restoration.

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