A NEW Natural History Museum is set to open this autumn at the Parson’s Lodge building overlooking Camp Bay in the south of Gibraltar.
Gibraltar Government announced the project after its National Museum in Bomb House Lane ran out of space for new exhibits.
It will leave the current museum site to cater for culture and history while Parson’s Lodge will exhibit all natural history apart from the prehistoric past.
The move will free Bomb House Lane to expand its cultural and historical exhibits.
This government said the decision comes after discussions with the Gibraltar National Museum for the past year on ‘ways of creatively continuing the growth of the museum and heritage services’.
The Department of Heritage chose the Parson’s Lodge Battery for its historical and natural significance.
“It is part of the Gibraltar National Park and holds a rich plant and animal community,” the government explained.
“Its strategic position makes it a staging post for migratory birds moving between Africa and Europe.
“And its proximity to the coastline gives it added value in terms of marine and intertidal biology.”
Parson’s Lodge is also situated on top of what it called ‘a rich fossiliferous vein, known as the Rosia breccias’ used as evidence for evolution.
The new site will phase its development over a couple of years, with interpretation panels, open air and enclosed exhibits.
It will also be able to host lectures and workshops within its former military ramparts.
“To now have a site dedicated as a museum of natural history would have been unimaginable only a few years ago,” Minister for Heritage John Cortes said.
“I sincerely hope that the public will now support this initiative and that tour operators will see the benefits of bringing tourists here.
“It can be the perfect introduction to a tour of the Upper Rock.”