If you’ve still never been to the Hunterian Museum, you better get planning your visit ASAP.
The doors of the institution, which houses thousands of human and non-human anatomical and pathological specimens, models and instruments, will be closing this May and won’t be reopening until 2020.
The good news is that the temporary closure is down to a major redevelopment of all the Royal College of Surgeon’s museums, meaning that swanky new spaces will be created for the jars of preserved body parts on display.
Be warned: it’s definitely not a destination for the faint-hearted. Surgeon and anatomist John Hunter’s collection was purchased in 1799 by the government and placed in the care of the Company (later the Royal College) of Surgeons. It includes a mutilated Ancient Egyptian mummy’s foot from 1763 and a section of a cockerel’s head with a human tooth transplanted into the comb from 1760-93.
The Hunterian Museum will be the last of the buildings to close, with permanent collections in the main galleries remaining opening to the public until Sat May 20. A series of goodbye, late night openings are scheduled across April and May. See the event page for details.