Bringing the Dead Zoo back to life with Aoife Hurley - Open House Dublin 2022
Building Tour

Bringing the Dead Zoo back to life with Aoife Hurley

National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2
1.30pm – 2.15pm
3pm – 3.45pm
Book Now
Large fin whale skeleton under the Victorian glass roof structure, with scaffolding surrounding it.

Join this very special tour with conservation architect Aoife Hurley, (MRIAI) Head of Operations at the National Museum of Ireland, and discover what it takes to bring the Dead Zoo back to life.

Known as the ‘Dead Zoo’, the building housing NMI – Natural History is over 165 years old, therefore overseeing and planning the care for this unique building is complex and challenging. Built in 1856, the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History is a magnificent Victorian artefact in its own right and houses a wide-ranging and comprehensive zoological collection. This museum building, sometimes described as ‘a museum of a museum’, is now being prepared for large scale renovation, starting with works to stabilise the roof. Over the last two years the Museum has started a project to get the building ready for these major roof works by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

To date over 20,000 specimens have been moved, but the most significant to be tackled were the skeletons of two whales that were suspended from structures in the attic space. In this architectural-themed tour, attendees will explore the complexities of conducting roof works in a listed historic building that has undergone very little change in the past 165 years.

Places are limited. Adults 18+ only.

Please note this is an architectural tour and will not incorporate the zoological collections.


Accessibility Information

Unfortunately this tour is not accessible for mobility-impaired visitors due to the nature of the site.


Photography Credit
© National Museum of Ireland - Natural History

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