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Mysteries abound at OMSI's new Sherlock Holmes exhibition

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Guests explore the realistic depiction of Sherlock Holmes legendary study. Since the opening of “The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes” at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on October 10, lovers of mystery novels, amateur sleuths, and budding forensic scientists are immersing themselves in this sensory-rich environment on the east bank of the Willamette River, just north of the Ross Island Bridge.

“We are super excited to have the exhibition here,” grinned OMSI VP of Exhibits Kevin Kearns at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes was a partnership among major museum exhibit developers and OMSI’s experts which created the graphic design, marketing, and educational materials, he said

“This exhibit is important to our mission,” Kearns told THE BEE, because it serves as an ‘entry point’ for scientific investigation. It uses popular culture to introduce science and forensics topics. These artifacts, supplied by the Conan Doyle Estate, are awesome.”

Part of the exhibition is a follow-along new mystery, authorized by the Conan Doyle Estate, in which visitors explore, participate, and solve, Kerns pointed out.

Handling the giant ceremonial ribbon-cutting scissors was Richard John Francis Doyle. “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was my grandfather’s big brother,” Doyle confided. “The exhibit is fabulous! I'm really enjoying it. It’s a new idea; a way to get people to think for themselves. It’s about society. It’s adventurous and scientific. In short, it’s just spectacular!”

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes features original manuscripts and period artifacts, investigative tools influenced and used by the fictional detective, and interactive crime-solving opportunities.

As visitors wind their way through the two-level exhibition, they find themselves in a 19th century London underground train station. With a “note-taking pad” in hand, explorers look for clues – and stamp their note pad at several of the exhibit stations.

By following the instructions and clues, the mystery is later revealed.

Many guests remarked on the “Parlor” room, embellished with furniture, fixtures, and instruments ascribed to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the physician and explorer turned mystery writer.

This unique, immersive experience shows how Sherlock Holmes – and his creator – were scientific experts ahead of their time: Essentially creating the field of forensic crime detection.

The cost of admission to this exhibit: Adults $18; Members $5; Youths (3-13)/Seniors (63+) $13; Youth and Senior members $3. Prices include admission to the museum itself.

OMSI is located at 1945 S.E. Water Avenue just north of the Ross Island Bridge; look for the big red tower and the OMNIMAX done. For general information, call 503/797-4000, or go online to: HYPERLINK "www.omsi.edu" www.omsi.edu