Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 12:12 UK

Skeletons key to museum display

Suspended animal skeletons. Picture- Plymouth Museum
It has taken five months to mount and wire the skeletons

The skeletons of a number of birds are being suspended from the ceiling of a revamped Devon museum.

The installation is part of Plymouth City Museum's new look foyer space, which is being overhauled along with other areas in a 1.2m refurbishment.

It has taken five months to mount and wire the skeletons, which have come from the museum's natural history collections, as if they were in flight.

They have been prepared by taxidermist and osteologist Luke Williams.

'Quite a sight'

The process of preparing the skeletons of the birds - including two robins, two songthrushes, a green woodpecker, a buzzard, a heron, a guillemot and a swan - has taken five months to complete

Helen Fothergill, keeper of natural history, said the skeletons looked "incredible".

"(They) will be quite a sight to behold," she said.

"It's an amazing thing to see the scale of some of them, particularly the swan, without flesh and feathers."

The money for the refurbishment of the museum has come from a 750,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund along with money from Renaissance in the Regions and the Department for Culture.

The first floor reopened last month and the ground floor will open in September 2008.


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