1984-2024: The Cetacean Gallery

1984-2024: La Galleria dei cetacei
1984-2024: La Galleria dei cetacei
Museo di Storia Naturale di Calci
Start date: 
End date: 

On Friday 19 April 2024, at 4.30 p.m., the temporary exhibition '1984-2024: The Cetacean Gallery of the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa' will be inaugurated.

The Cetacean Gallery is the most identifying exhibit of the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa. The loggia in which it is set up, more than 100 metres long and overlooking the Certosa olive groves, houses a large part of the most important cetological collection in Italy, with some specimens that are unique in Italian museums. The gallery is also the only one in the world to exhibit the skeletons of the three largest mammals existing on Earth: the boreal whale, the minke whale and the blue whale.

The temporary exhibition, which will be hosted in the gallery from 19 April to 20 September 2024, will retrace through texts and images the first 40 years of the collection at the Certosa di Pisa: from the transfer of the specimens from Pisa to Calci, passing through the first display inaugurated in 1992, to the current one, rethought in an evolutionary-adaptive key, which was completed in 2018, and concluding with a look at the future.

The exhibition will also be an opportunity to remember, 10 years after his death, Luigi Cagnolaro (1934-2014), former director of the Natural History Museum in Milan and father of modern Italian cetology, who for many years collaborated with our Museum on the study of the collection and the realisation of the first gallery layout.

Speakers will be:

Elena Bonaccorsi - Director of the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa

Fausto Barbagli - President of the National Association of Scientific Museums

Simone Farina - Referee of the Museum Area of Vertebrate Zoology

Walter Landini (Museum Director from 2004 to 2012), Roberto Barbuti (Museum Director from 2012 to 2019), Damiano Marchi (Museum Director from 2020 to 2022).

On the occasion of the opening there will be a talk by Professor Giovanni Bianucci (Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa), who will give a lecture entitled 'From macropredators to the giants of the sea: the exhibition approaches of the Cetacean Gallery of the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa'.
At the end of the lecture, there will be a guided tour of the exhibition and gallery led by Simone Farina and Chiara Sorbini, contact person for the Palaeontology Museum Area, which has curated the current layout of the Cetacean Gallery.