The establishment of the VU Museum of Zoology is associated with the Natural Cabinet at the Grand School of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1774 - 1781 and later at the Vilnius Imperial University. Various biological collections were stored there; J. E. Gilibert delivered a 3,000-item library, new microscopes and special glass jars for animal spirit collection that had been purchased. At that time, the Natural Cabinet was one of the richest in Europe (with around 20,000 exhibits). In 1832 the University was closed and part of the collection had disappeared by the early decades of the nineteenth century. In 1855 count E. Tiškevičius founded the Museum of Antiquities of Vilnius. It contained archeology, mineralogy, ornithology, conchology and other sections. The main collections were transferred from the Natural Cabinet and the new ones were donated by notable Lithuanian people. In 1865, after reorganization, part of the exhibits was taken to Russia and 16,294 exhibits (without insects) were handed over to the Public Library. The remains were returned to the University in 1922

On 15 March 2016, the new building of the Life Sciences Center of Vilnius University, being mainly the result of the efforts of prof. J. R. Lazutka, opened its doors. The Center has been nominated as the best cultural object in 2017 by the prestigious architectural magazine ArchDaily. Arguably, the most famous creature in the Centre is the 400 square-meter VU Museum of Zoology, affectionately designed by architects I. Pieslikaitė and D. Skrupskelienė.


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