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A New Natural History Museum of Denmark

A new international Natural History Museum of Denmark will safeguard the Museum’s invaluable collections for the future and will set new standards for research and for communicating the natural sciences. Ralf Hemmingsen, Rector - University of Copenhagen

Project data

Grant amount
DKK 100 million

World-class Scientific Research and Communication

A new Natural History Museum will integrate the University of Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden, Botanical Museum, Geological Museum and Zoological Museum in a modern setting.

Today, the Natural History Museum of Denmark houses one of the world’s largest and most important collections within this field, with over 14 million items. The breadth of the source material has allowed the University of Copenhagen to develop a strong research environment within the Museum. This has led to four basic research centres being attached to the Museum in recent years. As with the collections, the research centres until now have been geografically separeted but will all be housed in the new Museum, which will provide new opportunities for both innovative multidisciplinary research and communicating the natural sciences to children and adults.

The Foundation’s aim in awarding this grant to a new Natural History Museum is to help to create new opportunities for research and communicating the natural sciences to children and adults. The Foundation also wants to help stimulate interest in and knowledge about science and technology, which will strengthen research in Denmark in the long term.

The new museum expects the current annual visitor numbers to rise from 130,000 to more than 400,000 adults and children, with 55,000 from primary and lower-secondary schools and upper-secondary schools.

The new Museum will be housed in a range of new and existing buildings on the site of the present Botanical Garden in Copenhagen. The construction of the new Museum has been the subject of an international competition, with the winning project selected on 31 May 2012. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has granted DKK 100 million (€13.4 million) to co-fund the establishment of the Museum, which is also receiving financial support from the Villum Foundation, the Obel Family Foundation, the Aage & Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond, the University of Denmark and the Government of Denmark. Constructing the Museum will cost DKK 950 million (€128 million).

The Novo Nordisk Foundation’s special one-off grant commemorates the 90th anniversary of insulin first being produced in Denmark. The Foundation is awarding the grant on the condition that the project receives funds from other donors.