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Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has returned an ancient rhinoceros and a mammoth to Lviv


The Lviv State Natural History Museum of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has completed the restoration and installation of the central exhibits of the "Ice Age" exhibition. These are perfectly preserved remains of a mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, which lived several tens of thousands of years ago. This was a time when the territory of modern Carpathians was a valley surrounded by glaciers, where prehistoric animals lived. A mammoth and a woolly rhinoceros are unique finds".


If we talk about woolly rhinoceros, then this is an amazing finding. There are only a few such animals, such objects in the museums of the world", said Natalia Dzyubenko, head of the Applied Museology Department of the State Natural History Museum of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. "Our mammoth is also unique. When he was discovered, it was a carcass preserved in ozocerite. Prehistoric animals, so perfectly preserved, are found only in permafrost. This is an extraordinary phenomenon for our latitudes".


Animal remains were discovered 110 years ago in the village of Starunya, Ivano-Frankivsk region. The carcasses were found at a depth of 17 meters in the ozokerite mine. Scientists suggest: a rhinoceros and a mammoth hit the oil quagmire and died, and oil proved to be an excellent preservative. Not only bones remained, but also soft tissues and animal hair, which caused a curious situation more than a century ago.


"Our mammoth is so well-preserved that the workers who found the find in the mine cut their skins and brought them home to make their shoes", said Andrei Bokotey, head of the scientific department of the State Natural History Museum. "That's why scientists, when they found out what kind of discovery this was, had to take pieces of its skins from villagers through the court".


For the first time in 110 years, the exhibits have been restored. This became possible thanks to the project of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation called "Dynamic Museum". The Lviv Natural History Museum won a grant and was able to open its doors again in 2012 — for 20 years the museum was closed for the visitors. Now the preparation of the exhibition is over, which is able to surprise the public not only with exhibits, but also with multimedia technologies; they will make the "Ice Age" extremely interesting for the viewers of all ages.


"The smallest visitors of the exhibition will learn about the life of their characters from the cartoon, which is specially created for the exhibition. It will be interesting for older people to take part in interactive development games, from which the visitors will be able to learn a lot of interesting facts about the Ice Age",  - said Andrey Khvorostyanko, project manager of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. "Thanks to the support of the Foundation, which fulfilled its obligations to the museum in full, not only the remains of prehistoric animals were restored. The halls were renovated and equipped with modern multimedia technologies. To return visitors to the museum space is one of the main tasks of the "Dynamic Museum" project of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation".


Also, thanks to a grant from the Foundation, a new elevator was installed in the museum building for the convenience of people with disabilities. They also will be able to see with their own eyes the unique "Ice Age" exhibition, which will open this year.