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Walrus arrives from Horniman museum in London at Margate's Turner Contemporary gallery

By KentOnline reporter

The walrus gets a make-over. Picture acapmedia

The walrus gets a make-over. Picture: acapmedia

A famously over-stuffed walrus - weighing in at just under a ton - has arrived triumphantly at its summer home of Margate.

The curious museum exhibit has been in the Horniman Museum in London since 1901. In that time, it has moved just 25ft.

Now it has made an extraordinary journey in a crate to Margate's Turner Contemporary gallery as part of an exhibition called Curiosity: Art & The Pleasures of Knowing, which opens on May 25.

But the mere act of getting the huge beast from its Forest Hill location to its temporary new seaside home is a challenge in itself.

The walrus gets ready for its journey. Picture Alex BraunHorniman museum and gardens

The walrus gets ready for its journey. Picture: Alex Braun/Horniman museum and gardens

The Horniman's conservation department has been working with specialist art handlers to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible.

Preparations have already begun... with the walrus given its annual clean, and the larger pieces of its 'iceberg' moved away.

The biggest challenge was to lift it out of the gallery over the other cases.

 One of the 'walrus's' now-famous tweets

Then, after being shifted unceremoniously into a crate, it left the museum early this morning.

Jo Hatton, keeper of natural history at the Horniman, said: "The walrus is very dear to us and to our visitors, so while we were keen to loan him to this exhibition, we’ve also been careful to make sure he can travel safely without getting damaged.

"And of course we wanted him to be in tip-top condition to meet his new audiences – so he’s been cleaned and x-rayed to find out exactly what he’s made of, and packed carefully in his crate for the journey.’

She added: "He’s missing his walrus wrinkles because at the time he was mounted very few people had seen a live walrus."

To follow the move, from a walrus-eye view, follow its own Twitter feed at @HornimanWalrus.

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