Taste of the tropics with new exhibit

Mansfield Museum.
Mansfield Museum.

Staff at Mansfield Museum are creating a free tropical experience to celebrate the Rio Olympics.

The temporary exhibit, entitled ‘Castaway Cove’, will contain pirates, parrots and real sand, allowing visitors to build sand castles.

During its time at the Leeming Street museum, the exhibit will feature tropical-themed events, such as a pirate week and a Rio-style carnival.

Jodie Henshaw, the museum’s development officer, said: “We are very excited and looking forward to see how the visitors will react to all of the sand.

“We are all looking forward to looking at tropical islands and getting ready for the Olympic Games that open in August.”

From the start of the school summer holidays, the museum will hold a simple craft activity each day, which could involve anything from making a beach in a bottle or a crafty crab.

They will also be holding a ‘Castaway Beach Cook-out’.

Staff hope that by having a tropical-themed exhibition, the visitors will “capture a tiny bit of the tropical spirit’ getting people ready for the Olympic games in Brazil”.

The museum will be displaying collections that are usually kept in storage.

The decision to use items from storage that have not been seen for a while was largely influenced by older visitors who wanted to re-acquaint themselves with items remembered from the museum in the past, Jodie said.

Museum staff have now decided to put the remainder of their tropical bird collection on display inside the island exhibition.

By setting the bird collection in this beach exhibit the museum hopes to move away from a traditional display of stuffed animals showing them less as ‘objects’ and present them as more striking curiosities.

The collection of stuffed birds were once a highlight of the museum and are part of the original Victorian collection that was donated, along with the museum by William Edward Baily in 1903.

The exhibit will be opening to the public from Saturday July 9 until Saturday September 3.

It will be open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday each week.