Harvard museum to dust off curiosities long kept in storage

The museum hinted at the changes to come earlier this month

A cyclist rolls past the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. The Peabody, one of the oldest and largest museums in the world focused on the study of societies and cultures, turns 150 years old this month. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is undergoing some big changes as it turns 150 years old.

One of the oldest museums in the world dedicated to the study of human cultures is planning a major new exhibition exploring the Peabody’s pioneering role in anthropology.

A man walks past towering ancient stela's, cast from sites in Latin America, at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. The Peabody, one of the oldest and largest museums in the world focused on the study of societies and cultures, turns 150 years old this month. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A man walks past towering ancient stela’s, cast from sites in Latin America, at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. The Peabody, one of the oldest and largest museums in the world focused on the study of societies and cultures, turns 150 years old this month. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The exhibition opening in April will feature roughly 600 objects including many that have been in storage for years.

The museum hinted at the changes to come earlier this month, when it trotted out some of its quirkier, rarely seen pieces to mark the day in 1866 when philanthropist George Peabody committed $150,000 to help found the museum.

Among them was the “FeeJee Mermaid,” a 19th century curiosity made of papier-mâché, wood and fish parts that will find a permanent home in the forthcoming exhibition.

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