Stuffed collection may be sold
A local council is considering auctioning an unusual collection - 170 stuffed animals.
Northampton Borough Council said its Abington Park Museum's collection of stuffed animals grew in the 19th century as private collectors donated them.
Many have not been displayed for decades, so it is now looking at plans for their future, including putting them under the hammer.
A spokesman said a review of the museum stores in 2002 found the collection contained more than 300 stuffed animals. The creatures in the collection include a variety of birds and fish as well as foxes.
The council found 50 items which should be kept for creating displays or educational projects, but also found a further 250 that were not required or unlikely to be used.
In some cases this was because there were better examples of the animal, they were not in good enough condition for display or there simply was not room to display them, the spokesman said.
He said after the review the museum contacted other museums across the country and 76 of the animals had now been added to other collections. The rest were stored for the past eight years, but the borough council says it is now considering putting them up for auction.
Cabinet member for culture councillor Paul Varnsverry said: "The review process commenced in 2002 has enabled Northampton Borough Council's Museums Service to gift a number of the original collection of stuffed animals other museums.
"However, we are still left with a large number which may never be put on display. As with all museums, we only have space to display a small portion of our total collection of items. We have already identified which stuffed animals we display and those we wish to keep. Consideration will now be given to the future of the rest of the collection."
A decision about the future of the stuffed animals collection is expected to be made by Mr Varnsverry next Wednesday.