It is inexplicable how I have only just blogged about this! Thanks to @hayleygriffith for the reminder!
Parisian taxidermy shop burned down and out of the ashes came some amazing images of sad stuffed burnt animals – and to think taxidermy itself was depressing! Resulting from this all is a book, Touched By Fire, a visual document of a blaze that swept through Deyrolle, the oldest taxidermy shop in Paris. From boxes of butterflies to dioramas of birds, Deyrolle was an emporium of natural history, where every exhibit was for sale.
“I viewed the scene as tragic, but also very beautiful. Not everything had been destroyed. It was as though the exhibits were in shock. I photographed the scene like the remains of some obscure happening. He found and shot a great bear with a torn muzzle, posing with its paws in the air. Beetles had been knocked out of uniform lines and collected beneath the fractured glass, prettily discoloured by the foam of the fire-extinguishers. There was even some surreal black humour to be found in the impromptu arrangement of fallen moose-heads and sooty tortoise shells.”
“Perhaps the most bizarre thing I found was a crocodile, whose skin had been contorted by the fire, so that it took on a very strange form. There was also a zebra, whose head was parted in two, as though it had two mouths”.