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Nice is a city of art, galleries, exhibitions... Actually, after Paris, it is the city in France with the most museums.
These include the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Anatole Jakovsky International Museum of Naive Art, the Museum of Asian Art, the Matisse Museum, the Marc Chagall Museum and, of course, the Museum of Natural History . A museum that has a leading role in the history of Nice, since it was the first to be established in the city. This occurred in the year 1846, under the influence of the famous scientist Antoine Risso, leader of the naturalist school in Nice, thanks to the contribution of two naturalists from Nice: Jean-Baptiste Vérany and Jean-Baptiste Barla.
Besides being the first museum in the city, the Museum of Natural History is memorable for the important natural history it houses and the privileged environment in which is located: the Nice region. A region straddling the Alps and the Mediterranean, from which extend biological pathways of great importance for the study of flora and fauna. A unique natural environment that nourishes the Natural History Museum with extensive and varied exhibits.
Incredibly, the collection amounts to more than a million specimens. More than one million specimens coming mainly from the Mediterranean, but also from Africa and South America, covering the three major branches of natural history: zoology, botany and geology.
Today, more than 140 years since its inception, the museum is more alive than ever. The secret of its success is that it has adapted to changing times, without deviating even slightly from its original vocation: working to care for the treasures that Mother Nature gives us and, in turn, educating the public on the important fight to protect the environment.
However, there is one aspect in which it struggles. Over the years, the facilities have become too small to show the public one of the largest scientific collections in France. Therefore, the city has decided to move the museum to the Phoenix Park area and create a City of Natural Sciences.
In this new environment the museum will present its valuable collection in a renewed form, offering a better arrangement of exhibits and, at the same time offering the public complementary activities related to culture and entertainment. All without losing its scientific work to improve the management of the natural heritage of the Mediterranean, and its educational efforts to promote sustainable development.
The birth of this new museum and the City of Natural Sciences will inject some optimism into the city's economy, as it will be a key tool for promoting local economic development. A tool not only of great scientific interest, but also of tourist and cultural importance.
If you want to discover the Museum of Natural History before it moves to its new home, come to number 60 Boulevard Risso. Admission is free and you can visit every day except Mondays and public holidays.