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National Museum Of Natural History Of Angola

Luanda, Angola

The Museu Nacional de História Natural de Angola (National Museum of Natural History of Angola) is located in Largo do Kinaxixe, in the city of Luanda, Angola.

The history of the National Museum of Natural History begins in 1858, when the ordinance signed by Sá da Bandeira gave birth to the first museum in the city of Luanda. The choice of the site fell on the ruins of an old church “that was once the Cathedral of Luanda”.

This building was intended for a meteorological observatory, for a museum and library. However, the collection of some varieties of wood, minerals and agricultural products was not enough to arouse the interest of the most evolved part of the capital and, a few years after its opening, the museum closed its doors to reopen almost a century. then under the name of Museum of Angola. The installations of the National Museum of Natural History were built in 1956 to house the then multidisciplinary museum, the Museum of Angola, created by ministerial decree No. 6 of 8 September 1938. From 1959 to 1974, the Museum of Angola was under the direction of Institute for Scientific Research of Angola - IICA, the director of the institute taking over the direction of the Museum.

The Museum comprises a vast heritage, gathered since the creation in 1938 of the Museum of Angola, an organism that until the date of Angola's independence, in 1975 dedicated itself to the inventory, classification, to the fall and to preserve monuments, buildings, works, documents , collections and objects of historical and artistic value existing in Angola. With the dismemberment of the Museum's collections, after the country's independence, in accordance with the objectives of the Cultural Policy of the Government of the Republic of Angola, the Institution becomes the National Museum of Natural History in 1976, planning and carrying out its own activities from of the existing natural heritage, which includes scientific collections of biological material that safeguards and constitutes the testimony and database of the knowledge generated by the research, carried out in the areas of systematics and taxonomy and biology (zoology, botany and geology).

The infrastructure is composed of different areas constituted and preserved in permanent exposure: Mammals, Fish, Birds, Reptiles, Shells, Insects, some assembled skeletons and some skulls.

The Museum also has spaces for temporary exhibitions and simultaneously preserves collections of great scientific value, as well as the need to protect and enhance the Cultural and Natural Heritage. Also attached to the Museum is a Laboratory for carrying out scientific work, a Library, an Archive, as well as the incorporation of books, processes and documents that are currently inoperative.

With regard to zoology, the institution is proud of its 18th century pacaça skeleton (it is a ruminant mammal, similar to the buffalo), a specimen of the stuffed giant black sable, that national symbol in danger of extinction that it still inhabits the lands of Cangandala, in the province of Malanje, and a skeleton of a 15 meter whale, in addition to other specimens such as spotted hyenas, leopards, monkeys or anacondas.

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