Fire Destroys New Delhi Natural History Museum

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to those effected by the tragic fire that destroyed the Natural History Museum in New Delhi last week, in which the entire collection has been lost. We are grateful that staff remained safe.

Although firefighters were able to bring the flames under control before it reached the museum offices on the ground floor, mezzanine and first floor, the blaze burned through the collection stores at upper part of the museum. The fire appears to have been related to issues with the building, and the museum had been planned to be relocated in the near future.

India’s National Museum of Natural History was established as one of the national level institutions set up during the Silver Jubilee celebrations of India’s Independence, to portray and promote awareness on the Natural Heritage of the country.

Delhi MNH

The museum in better days. Photo: Craig Dietrich

The National Museum of Natural History, an institution devoted to environmental education, derives its strength principally from theme-based exhibition galleries, experiential resource centers such as Discovery Room, Activity Room,and educational and out-reach activities, with the intention to depict the country’s rich natural heritage and natural history (geology,botany and zoology).

Collections are the heart and soul of a museum, so this is a loss not only for the museum, but for India and the World. We await details of the museum’s rehabilitation and encourage other institutions to provide assistance where possible.