BULAWAYO, Friday, November 18, 1966 — Officials at the National Museum in Bulawayo are beating sanctions by bartering deposits of the world’s oldest fossil in exchange for museum pieces imported from the United States.
The fossils are 2 700 000 000-year-old primitive algae, deposits of which are still lying in the Huntsman quarry at the Turk Mine near Bulawayo, said the curator, Mr GL Guy. Although the foreign exchange is granted for a limited amount of imports for the museum, Mr Guy said that since sanctions were imposed the barter system was quicker, more convenient and cheaper.
He said geologists all over the world acknowledged the fossil to be the oldest yet found. A number of museums in the United States were eager to barter samples of the fossil in exchange for geological books and chemicals.
The curator said the mineral collection at the National Museum is one of the finest in the world, and he is hoping to raise nearly £12 000, through public donations for their display. About £1 700 has been donated to date by the Anglo-American Corporation, the Buluwayo Board of Executors and several local firms, he added.
The first of two galleries is being constructed at present and Rhodesian mukwa wood is being used for the display cases. If the full amount is raised to cover estimated expenses the two galleries will show the science of geology.
“Our aim”, said Guy “is to let everyone know that Rhodesia has a Great Dyke, the greatest natural waterfalls, the oldest rocks and fossils in the world, dinosaurs and an annual mineral production worth about £30 000 000”.
Part of the £12 000 will be spent on a revolving model of the earth, and a push button economic map of Rhodesia. Mr Guy said that any donations could be sent to him at National Museum, Bulawayo.