National Museum’s mystery boxes not to be subjected to CT-scan
Two massive wooden boxes, each weighing over 300 kilograms – that was what the botanist and pharmacologist Bohuslav Jiruš left the National Museum in his will some 100 years ago. The humungous mystery crates came with one instruction: They should not be opened until 200 years after Jiruš’s death –the year 2101. Now, the National Museum has published the surprising result of its vote on whether its researchers should be allowed to take a peak inside with computed tomography.
“53 percent were against opening or scanning the boxes, and 47 were in favor of scanning them. The public expressed the opinion that the wish in Jiruš’s will should be respected, even if at the time of his death, he could not have anticipated that something like computed tomography would exist. And as an institution, we were glad that the public thought that was unethical.”
“We thought that another good way of researching the contents would be through our archive. We will go through our archive, even elements that are not directly connected to Bohuslav Jiruš, so that we can rule out that it may hold some information on the content. An archive is a very complex organism, and sometimes, things can be filed incorrectly. Our team will be searching archive materials and maybe we will randomly discover something that sheds light on the content of these mysterious boxes.”