Curator's Choice: Face to face with a giant deer head inside London's Grant Museum of Zoology

Mark Carnall interviewed by Ben Miller | 11 April 2011
A photo of a giant deer head against a blue background
Curator's Choice: In his own words... Mark Carnall from the Grant Museum of Zoology reveals the trials and tribulations of finding a home for a fossilised giant deer head.

"This used to be up on the wall in the biology building. It was collected by a member of staff who bought it from a pub in Ireland while he was on fieldwork.

I’ve no idea how they organised getting it back from Ireland because it’s fossilised and really heavy. Even when we’ve had specialist movers and teams in moving it around has been nothing but a constant pain.

It was up in the biology building and a couple of years ago there was a bit of a fallout with our colleagues there because they said it made the foyer look like a 1970s hunting lodge.

When they said that, first of all we were keen to point out that this went extinct 10,000 years ago and there were three others on the wall.

It got taken down in lieu of refurbishment works and never went back up again. It’s just been kicking around in any storage space we can scrounge.

We left this blank spot when the museum moved, saying ‘it will go here’, but we hadn’t put any thought into quite how. The day we put it in was a year’s worth of sleepless nights finally put to rest."

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