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Polar bear missing from the Horniman?

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Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 19 October, 2006 - 10:12 pm:   

Yes, I know, I thought the same.

Unfortunately I had to leave the house this morning before the news story came on BBC local radio.
I believe that in the 1940s there was a stuffed polar bear in the Horniman which subsequently went missing during refurbishment. The BBC were sending out a radio car this morning to traipse around Forest Hill to track it down.
If anyone can enlighten me further, please do, especially why they have waited 60 years to go out and look for it.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 19 October, 2006 - 10:16 pm:   

actually- just answered my own question by locating this on the net. But what did the BBC actually do this morning?

Horniman Museum Searches For Missing Polar Bear
By Melina Greenfield

The Horniman Museum in London’s Forest Hill is hunting for one of its favourite attractions – a polar bear. The taxerdermied grizzly has been missing from the museum since it was taken off display in the 1940s.

The bear had been amazing audiences since the Horniman opened in 1901, and its disappearance has been baffling staff since it went awol nearly 60 years ago.

Janet Vitmayer, Director of the Horniman Museum, said: “The fate of the Horniman’s Polar Bear has long been of interest to us - it was after all one of the largest animals on display and very popular with visitors.”

The mystery of the polar bear will once again come under the spotlight when a new exhibition of photography by artists Mark Wilson and Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir is unveiled at the museum. The exhibition, Great White Bear, is a collection of images of similar stuffed polar bears and will open on October 21.

The Horniman Museum polar bear with some young fans. Courtesy the Horniman Museum

Horniman Museum North Hall circa 1912. Courtesy the Horniman Museum

It was thought that Selfridges may have taken the bear to jazz up their Christmas window display, but Wilson and Snæbjörnsdóttir, discovered fresh evidence.

A search located some key documents which revealed that a Mr Allen, a dealer from New Cross, was believed to be in possession of the stuffed bear after it was sold to him in 1948.

Staff at the museum are eager to contact the owner or anyone who has any information that might solve the 60-year-old mystery. In the meantime, the Rt Hon Hugh Crossley has kindly lent his 10-foot tall polar bear to the Horniman as a replacement while the exhibition is on.

Great White Bear runs until March 25 2007.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 19 October, 2006 - 10:50 pm:   

So there is a polar bear on the loose in UDB?
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Friday, 20 October, 2006 - 07:14 am:   

Don't worry. The appropriately named David Whiting is on the case. See the thread titled....

"Wanted some cute furry creatures and a large park"

Yesterday there was a media circus in Forest Hill looking for the polar bear. BBC televison had live on the spot coverage.

I think the bear is hiding in the museum by standing against the walls and blending in with the surroundings.
Joined 28-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 20 October, 2006 - 10:45 am:   

If it went to New Cross perhaps it's in storage in Iceland. Failing that, try The North Pole in Greenwich.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 20 October, 2006 - 10:46 am:   

I've cracked it. The polar bear went fugative and managed to hide on a remote island in the Pacific. The bear existed in splended isolation for many decades until a plane crashed leaving several dozen survivors. The bear has since not been seen
Joined 07-12-2003
Posted on Friday, 20 October, 2006 - 12:28 pm:   

Ah mes amis, I fear I was right that we should have nothing to do with an animal who leaves the area without the courtesy of providing a forwarding address.

The answer is simple. He (or is it she? let us not stereotype ursine behaviour) has not concealed himself by blending with the Horniman colour scheme. No! He has adopted a fiendishly cunning disguise and is actively attempting to cause panic and dispondency across South London. All will be clear from the following ... ess/slpheadlines/tm_headline=%2Dpanther-prowled-in to-my-lounge%2D%26method=full%26objectid=17964765% 26siteid=50100-name_page.html#story_continue
Joined 28-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 26 October, 2006 - 05:04 pm:   

Visited the museum today and had a mooch around the polar bear photographic exhibition. Very nice it is too. These stuffed bears, except our one obviously, are popping up all over the shop.

Moseyed on round to the Aquarium, which as ever is more like a primary school with fishtanks. Nice that the little uns are getting educated about the natural world an all that, but you try getting past a bunch of infants with their faces squashed up against the glass when they're not battering each other round the head. It ain't easy.
Joined 21-04-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 10:12 am:   

How inconsiderate of the children to visit a museum during half term holidays!
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 07:37 pm:   

It would be nice however if the Horniman would occasionally schedule in a few adults only evening tours of the place. I've given up going to the Horniman Museum because it's like battling against a wall of noise most of the time. I agree it is great that kids get educated but I think the balance has probably tipped completely in favour of children at the expense of the child-free (we do have needs too you know). I realise I'm taking my courage in my hands saying this - I'll probably get branded as a child hater which would be the predictable response. Still, museums are for everyone, right?
Joined 28-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 09:37 pm:   

Not by me you won't, Seeformiles. I'm a paid up Friend of The Horniman, but there's hardly been a time I've visited when it hasn't been overrun with kids. It would be nice to see and read up on the exhibitions some time without the incessant babble and wailings.
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Saturday, 28 October, 2006 - 11:31 am:   

Thanks Chaz, like I say I'm in favour of kids learning about natural history of course but the noise levels are unbelievable at times. I know quite a few people like me who can't face going anymore which needs to be addressed too I think.

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