«Rock Fossils» Special Exhibition: The Secret Love Affair between Science, Heavy Metal and Punk Rock

18. March 2015
«Rock Fossils – Yes, it’s Love» (March 18 through May 31, 2015)

Today a spectacular exhibition with the title «Rock Fossils» is opening at the Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern. The exhibition will shed an entire-ly new light on earth history by focusing on fossils – and the rock stars who lent them their names. The supporting program features a concert by Eluveitie.


There are those scientists who name new, previously unknown species of animals after the places where they were found or their unique shapes. And then there are scientists who dedicate new species to their favorite rock stars. There are, apparently, quite a few paleontologists in particular who not only love fossils but are just as passionate about rock music – especially heavy metal and punk rock. The special exhibition titled «Rock Fossils – Yes, it’s Love» brings to light this previously hidden love affair within the natural sciences.

The special exhibition presents dinosaurs and a number of other fossils bearing the names of bands or singers from the rock music scene. Each of the rock legends is portrayed both in writing (German/ English) and in images, including, to name but a few: AC/DC, Lemmy of Motörhead, the Ramones, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols.   
The exhibition was was created by Jesper Milàn (Geomuseum Faxe) and Esben Horn (10tons. Aps.) and first shown at the Geomuseum in Faxe, Denmark, where it created quite a stir, especially within the metal scene. The Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern (NMBE) is honored to be the first venue to present the exhibition outside of Scandinavia – even before the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. 
Since then, several prominent specimens have been added to the exhibition. A recon-struction of a recently discovered fossil of the hippopotamus’ ancestor, named after Mick Jagger for its full lips, will be presented for the very first time, alongside its skeletal remains. Another substantial addition to the exhibition will be made by the Naturhistor-isches Museum Bern itself: The museum’s paleontologists have dedicated a previously unknown species of sea urchin to the band Eluveitie. Paracidaris eluveitie is a 160-million-year-old echinoderm recently discovered in the Swiss Jura Mountains (Auenstein, AG), whose shell’s ornaments are evocative of the embellishments of Celtic jewelry. The band name is the Etruscan form of the Celtic word Helvetios (“Helvetian”). Eluveitie opens the exhibition with a special acoustic concert in the Museum.
The German band Accept brought out its “Metal Heart” album 30 years ago, which is now seen as a true heavy metal classic. The cover of the album features the “Metal Heart” sculpture, which Accept has now provided exclusively for the exhibition. The heavy metal icons do well in underscoring the motto of the “Rock Fossils” exhibition: Yes, it is love! The museum has added new items to the exhibition, including a geologic time scale with record covers and fossils – all with a new attractive look. 
Record Shop at the Exhibition and Guided Tours with DJ and Bar
The supporting program is an important part of the special exhibition. In addition to the concerts, a record shop will be open at the exhibition on weekends, run by Rathouse Records from Bern. “Stage Dive” is the name of the program of unconventional guided tours: visitors can dive into scientific aspects of the topic, listen to the corresponding music and have a beer at the bar.
Guests can acquire all the authentic merchandise they need at the exhibition – well be-fitting the heavy metal scene. This includes t-shirts and posters as well as records: all great collectors’ items for fans of rock and fossils alike!
Film (YouTube):