Records unearthed during the museum’s ongoing renovation backed rumours that the Asian elephant’s skeleton was leant to MGM studios in 1967, and revealed that the studio lost the metal ribcage frame on which the skeleton was mounted. The bones were taken to the Arts Picturehouse on 20 November where Kubrick’s daughter, Katharina, gave a Q&A after a screening of the film as part of the IntoFilm Festival and BFI Sci-Fi celebration.
Tracy Biram, marketing & communications assistant at the museum, says the elephant bones belonged to: “an adult male, 9ft tall with 4ft 11inch tusks, shot on 6 February 1881. It was shot dead because it had gone berserk, and evidence of a huge infected abscess is present on one of the leg bones which is believed to be the cause of the elephant’s rampage. It came to the museum shortly after that.”
There’s a chance to catch 2001: A Space Odyssey again at the Picturehouse, showing 28 November to 4 December. And you can ogle at the bones ahead of the 8.30pm screening on 1 December when the museum bring it in for a wondrously nerdy show and tell.
The Museum of Zoology is currently undergoing major renovation to allow more visitors to view its priceless collection of fascinating items from the animal kingdom collected from 1814 onwards.
Cinema tickets can be booked through the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse website.