Author: Rutes científiques de Barcelona
| | Public
Source: Picture of a gorilla exhibited in the “Museo Pedagógico de Ciencias Naturales”. “Museo Pedagógico d
The place currently occupied by the restaurant MarisCo was, during almost a century, the 'Museo Pedagógico de Ciencias Naturales', as reads the inscription on the sign that is still conserved on the upper part of its facade. After the definite closing of the taxidermy store, in 1999, a restaurant opened there, El Taxidermista, which conserved in its name the memory of the activity developed over such a long time. From the original building, the floor and the ceiling are preserved, and outside the facade is practically intact.
The 'Museo Pedagógico de Ciencias Naturales' was the name of a store of taxidermy founded by Lluís Soler i Pujol in 1898, which previously was located on the nearby Raurich Street, number 9. Soler i Pujol was a 'professional' naturalist specialized in the preparation and curation of natural objects. Once in Plaça Reial square, the store became an emblematic establishment popularly known as "Les bèsties" ("The beasts") or simply "Taxidermista". Its window displays exhibited much exoticism with fauna of all sorts in an expectant state, as if the stuffed animals were caught in fraganti in the moment of action.
Taxidermy was a skilled knowledge and technique that, during all the XIXth century, was closely linked to the development of natural history museums and teaching institutions. Apart from preparing and selling stuffed animals, Soler i Pujol's store had the aim of exhibition -that the objects be admired- and this objective brought it closer to the aims of the museum. Furthermore, it held a conference room and thus it might have also shared the pedagogical mission of museological institutions. Soler i Pujol was also the curator of the Museu Martorell, created in 1882 in the Parc de la Ciutadella.
Later on, Josep Palaus, the son-in-law of Soler i Pujol, assumed the direction of the store of taxidermy and, from 1926 until 1991, sustained its activity, which employed up to 50 workers during its most prosperous years. The main clients were schools and collectors, but also famous personalities asked for their services. As a curiosity, king Alfons XIII placed an order for the stuffed leg of a horse, and Ava Gardner and the bullfighter Mario Cabré ordered a stuffed bull's head which he later offered to the actress
"El Taxidermista, el museu de les bèsties" dins del Bloc Bereshit: La reconstrucció de Barcelona i altres mons. http://enarchenhologos.blogspot.com.es/2013/11/el-taxidermista-el-museu-de-les-besties.html
El Taxidermista. La memòria de la Plaça. Fundació Setba. Barcelona, 2013.
plaça Reial, 8, Barcelona, Spain
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