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9th November 2020

The dismantling of the 40ft North Atlantic right whale skeleton captured the imagination of many and featured in the national media.

Work to dismantle the 168 bones of the North Atlantic right whale skeleton took whale conservator, Nigel Larkin, just five days to complete and transport to his workshop in Shropshire.

Now, the eight marine skeletons have been dismantled and packed they will be placed in storage before being extensively examined and thoroughly cleaned.

Nigel Larkin and Phil Rye with the North Atlantic Right Whale
Nigel Larkin and Phil Rye with the North Atlantic Right Whale
Preparing the marine skeletons for transportation
Preparing the whale skeletons for transportation

Once complete they will return to the museum and will be installed in new and imaginative ways for visitors to rediscover.

Gateway To The World - artists' impression of a new gallery in Hull Maritime Museum
The 40ft whale will be displayed in new and imaginative ways

Here’s a behind-the-scenes insight as to how the eight whale skeletons were safely dismantled, packed and moved from the Hull Maritime Museum.

Nigel Larkin, said: “These skeletons are of great historical importance and a great resource for the future learning.

“They will be extensively examined and cleaned thoroughly, analysing each and every bone to add to the story.

“They will be mounted in a different way as part of the museum’s exciting development plans.”

Robin Diaper, Curator of Maritime and Social History, said: “This is the first step of our major decant of our collections from the museum and some of the key and most fragile items.

“They will be safely moved and they will then receive critical conservation before returning to the museum and take centre stage in the new displays. Their story will be told in new and exciting ways so visitors can appreciate their importance.”