Press release - Queen visit
Thursday 3 June 1999
3 June 1999
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ENJOYS A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE FASCINATING CREATURES AT LONDON ZOO'S WEB OF LIFE
Her Majesty the Queen, Patron of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh today officially opened London Zoo's new building The Millennium Conservation Centre, which houses the
Lifewatch Biodiversity Exhibition, Web of Life.
Enclosed within an environmentally-progressive building, Web of Life is the world's first zoo exhibition specifically designed to feature biodiversity and its conservation.
The exhibition investigates and explains the meaning of biodiversity using a unique combination of interactive displays, animal exhibits and on-show breeding facilities.
During their visit, the Royal Party were greeted by ZSL staff and members of London Zoo's Children's Committee, who were holding giant stick insects and giant African land snails.
Following the opening ceremony, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness were shown the variety of live animal exhibits housed in Web of Life - including
an army of hundreds of leaf cutter ants precariously making their way along rope bridges; pipefish swimming through a colourful underwater world; and a micrarium - the tiniest zoo in the world.
This exciting exhibition is one of the first Millennium projects to open in London. The total cost of the building is £4.4 million of which £2.2
million has been provided by the Millennium Commission. Matching funding is being secured through donors and sponsorship, including a substantial interest-free loan from Kajima (UK) Ltd (who constructed the building).
"It is a great pleasure to welcome Her Majesty to Web of Life," commented Sir Martin Holdgate, President of ZSL. "As Patron of the Zoological Society of London for 47 years, Her Majesty has visited London Zoo many times. We are delighted that she has been able to open our latest exhibit which we believe to be a uniquely exciting display of the diversity and beauty of the natural world."
"Everyone at London Zoo is very excited that The Queen is officially opening our new exhibit," added Dr Jo Gipps, Director of London Zoo. "Web of Life has been incredibly well received by our visitors. It highlights the role that we can all play in the conservation of biodiversity, as we enter into the 21st Century."
The 17 members of the Children's Committee were selected from across the country. They have played an integral part in the formation of Web of Life - offering their views and helping the Keepers as they moved some of their animals and equipment into the new building.
For further information, please contact:
Debbie Curtis/Helen Golesworthy/Joe Laing
Tel: 0171 449 6363/6361/6236
Susan Wilks/Clare Benjamin
Rosalyn Palmer PR
Tel: 0171 460 7000
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