JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts inspires exhibition on natural, mythical and wizarding worlds

Creatures dreamt up by Harry Potter author JK Rowling are the inspiration behind a new exhibition which will explore the natural, mythical and wizarding worlds.

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder Of Nature was originally due to open at the Natural History Museum in London in May, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It explores how legends and stories have been inspired by creatures in the natural world and the threats they face.

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The Natural History Museum exhibition opens in December

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A large range of items will help visitors explore the natural, mythical and wizarding worlds

When the exhibition opens on 9 December, visitors will be able to see legendary beasts alongside specimens and historic objects from the museum’s renowned scientific collection.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them was a 2016 film starring Eddie Redmayne which was written by Rowling as a spin-off and prequel to the Harry Potter series.

A sequel, The Crimes Of Grindelwald, was released in 2018.

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Eddie Redmayne with JK Rowling at the European premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in London’s Leicester Square in November 2016

Clare Matterson, executive director of engagement at the museum, said visitors “will journey through magical realms and walk alongside some of the most fascinating creatures in the world”.

She added: “At the heart of this exhibition is a celebration of all the fantastic beasts we have the privilege of sharing our planet with, and the very real threats they face.

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The conservation team working on items for the exhibition

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The opening of the Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature exhibition has been delayed by the COVID pandemic

“Visitors will leave with a renewed love of the wonders of nature, and a revived urgency to help protect it.”

The Natural History Museum reopened this summer – but has had to plan for around a fifth of its usual number of visitors due to the COVID-19 outbreak.