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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Napoleon toothbrush goes on show
Napoleon's toothbrush
Sir Henry Wellcome gathered objects from around the world
Napoleon's toothbrush and Darwin's walking stick are among some unusual historical artefacts set to go on display at a new 30m exhibition space.

The Wellcome Collection in Euston, central London, will showcase a mixture of science, art and history and aims to inspire visitors about medicine.

The collection belonged to Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) who gathered objects from around the world.

More than 900 of these will go on display from summer 2007.

Other items will include Florence Nightingale's slippers and a book cover made from human skin.

Darwin's stick
The collection explores connections between medicine, life and art

Marc Quinn's sculpture of a woman with HIV and a symbolic representation of the Periodic Table by Keith Wilson will be displayed in a contemporary collection.

The Wellcome Trust's head of public programmes, Dr Ken Arnold, said: "Sir Henry Wellcome was one of the world's greatest collectors - maybe the last great non-art collector.

"Much of his collection has never been seen yet and is a treasure trove of insight into human well-being through the ages."

Trust director Dr Mark Walport said: "Wellcome Collection will be an exciting place in which to explore themes of human well-being, starting with the powerful collections of Sir Henry Wellcome."

The project is funded by the independent biomedical charity, the Wellcome Trust.




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