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To recognize the one-year anniversary of its re-opening in the Rio Tinto Center, the Natural History Museum of Utah is discounting its admission by $1 this weekend and inviting families to tour the museum's extensive collections that are not ordinarily open to the public.

The event "Behind the Scenes: Science Up Close" is a re-invention of the museum's popular "What's in the Basement" events at its old location on Presidents Circle.

"Our museum is an integral part of the University of Utah's important scientific research and our Behind the Scenes event will provide a unique opportunity to see and experience firsthand how together we preserve, mount, catalogue, study and conserve the state's most precious scientific treasures," museum director Sarah George said in a statement.

The event is Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when museum staff will display specimens from new light, temperature, humidity-controlled and earth quake-proof storage facilities on the third and fourth floors.

"The museum is an exciting, interactive destination for families to learn about Utah's natural history, but our new location at the Rio Tinto Center has allowed the museum to become a progressive research institution with quality research space and labs that allow hands-on learning opportunities for university students," George said.

Items on display include dinosaur bones, artifacts recovered at Range Creek Canyon, insects, bats and other vertebrates. Museum staff will be on hand to show what can be learned by studying these objects.

Brian Maffly