Darwin Painting to Rival Sistine Chapel Next Year

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Interesting piece from the Times about plans being developed by the UK’s Natural History Museum to create a painted ceiling to rival the Sistine Chapel. As the story goes, the museum has put together a shortlist of artists, including some Turner Prize award winners, to paint the ceiling with all sorts of evolutionary principles, in celebration of Charles Darwin‘s two hundredth birthday. Once the winners are picked out, they’ll have less than a year to get it all done, as the museum is apparently hoping to unveil it by next February. Sounds like a lot of late nights is in store for somebody. Or at least for their assistants. Here’s a bit:

The ceiling, which is an unusual shape with several awkward angles and is more than 50ft long, will present a challenge. “The room is like a 1920s village hall with its panelled ceiling,” said [Mark Wallinger], who won the Turner Prize last year for his recreation of the demonstration by Brian Haw, the peace protester, outside parliament.

Bob Bloomfield, the project director, hoped it would transform a museum that was built in the 1870s: “We want to encourage contemporary artists because as thinkers they are ahead of others like Darwin was.”