Mongolia and Germany to restore 115 year-old taxidermies


Last Friday, the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan signed a memorandum with the Natural History Museum in Senckenberg, Germany, agreeing to cooperate on the restoration of valuable antique taxidermies in Mongolia.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will also participate in the project. According to museum managers, the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan holds an exhibit of taxidermies of countless animals from all around the world, dating back to 1901. These taxidermies are said to be very significant and valuable but are in urgent need of restoration and thus, the Mongolian side decided to get help from Senckenberg Museum, the second largest museum of natural history in Germany.

The Mongolian and German side signing a memorandum on June 29
The Mongolian and German side signing a memorandum on June 29

Director of the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan O.Medsaikhan was asked to clarify some important points related to the Mongolian and German cooperation.

Why did you decide to cooperate with Germany on the restoration of the taxidermy collection?

The Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan has been operating since 1926. One of the most popular exhibits at the museum is the collection of bird taxidermy made in Hamburg city, Germany in 1901. It holds greatsignificance – asit was made 115 years ago, and now, many of these birds have died off due to various natural and ecological reasons. The bird taxidermy exhibit has never undergone special restoration work. This time, it will receive this type of care.

The collection shows that the two nations have been close since the time of the Bogd Khaanate of Mongolia (1911-1924). Mongolia underwent a national revolutionary movement in 1911, declaring its independence once again, and sent notifications of this event to countries across the globe, including Germany, in 1912. Young people were also sent to study in Germany during that period. Considering this, Mongolia has placed great importance on its relationship with Germany.

The collection consists of some 200 animal taxidermies and there are 72 birds among these taxidermies. In particular, the collection features Birds of Paradise of Papua New Guinea. As a result of the cooperation, many projects will be completed besides restoration, such as a biodiversity census and verification of scientific names, locations, and the characteristics of the animals on display.

How long will the cooperation continue?

We will cooperate for two years within the framework of the memorandum. This year, German experts will run a workshop in October. They will work with Mongolian museum experts. It will continue next year as well.

How will the financing be determined? 

Both sides will finance the work.

What other exhibits are in urgent need of restoration?

The Winter Place of the Bogd Khan is special, starting with its complex of structures. Architectural renovation was completed for the entire facility in 1961. Since then, partial renovations have been conducted. Architectural renovations will be made in the future.

The Mongolian National Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage restores exhibits. Accordingly, the yellow silk umbrella placed in front of the statue of the king and the silk and feather umbrella in front of the queen’s statue is under repair. Next, we plan to restore pictures on wood and appliques.

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