Tour the secret museum of curiosities

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a SECRET museum housing weird and wonderful natural history objects will open its doors for the first time in 40 years.

The private Alfred Denny Museum includes never-seen curiosities such as the enormous skull of a rare man-sized giant eagle, half a dolphin, tiny flying dinosaur skeletons and sun spiders complete with ferocious, poisonous jaws.

Tours of the strange collection are a highlight in the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind, which launches today in an 11-day free extravaganza of 56 events.

Curator, Professor Tim Birkhead, will provide tours and talks of the museum in the department of animal and plant sciences.

Other highlights include:

Today: family fun, with street artists, sideshows, music, magic and storytelling, from midday to 5pm in Weston Park.

September 25 and 27: Historians and magicians will draw visitors into the secret world of magic at Magic in the City in Weston Park Museum.

September 26: Is Science Magic? in Barkers Pool from 6-8pm will explore the magical possibilities promised by new sciences, from invisibility cloaks to shape-shifting objects that make themselves.

September 28: Street performance outside Sheffield Town Hall from 10am – 4pm investigating the story behind the character perched on top of the Town Hall roof.

■ Visit http://festivalofthemind.group.shef.ac.uk/ for more details.