Brukenthal National Museum
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Exhibition: Legends from Nature
Location: Natural History Museum Sibiu, Multimedia Hall, Str. Cetatii nr. 1

Duration: 22.03. – 05. 2013

Opening: 22 March 2013, at 12 a.m.

Curator: Ana-Maria Mesaros
Text from Ana-Maria Mesaros, exhibition curator:

In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.
Aristotle

The Natural History Museum in Sibiu, department of the Brukenthal National Museum, through out the temporary exhibition Legends from Nature, aims to display the mythical side of natural history museum objects.
With a heritage of over 1 million objects, the Natural History Museum in Sibiu is an anthology of legends that have animals as subject, like the one of the amphibian that can go through fire or the one of the snake that can heal any disease with its venom. The entire legend surrounding these animals can be discovered by visiting the temporary exhibition.
In general, our human nature is drawn to the unknown, this was also the case with natural phenomena or the origin of different species of animals. Legends were the early results of our attempts to explain, understand and relate to our natural surrounding.
 The Romanian folklore is an important source of legends referring to animals and plants. Visiting this temporary exhibition the public can rediscover Romanian traditional legends collected by the renowned ethnologist S. Fl. Marian (1847 – 1907) Ornitologie poporana româna (Cernauti, 1883). Religious connotations, simplicity, even innocence characterize these texts describing the morphological and behavioral adaptations of the local animals as peasants, common people, with no scientifical background, wrote the legends.
Unfortunately, today, animals become legends due to our ignorance and carelessness. Animals are no longer subjects of creative imagination but headlines in a cruel reality – in danger of extinction. This is the case of the Bearded Vulture in Romania, the last specimen found in the Carpathians was shot in 1938. This bird was a legend even before this tragedy, as its Romanian name "zagan” is one of the old Dacians bird names preserved until today. The curator of the temporary exhibition considers that it is imperative to present also these legends with unfortunate ending as a wakeup call towards the necessity of biodiversity conservation.     
The Natural History Museum in Sibiu would like to invite you to visit the temporary exhibition Legends from Nature and discover the truth behind the myth.
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