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Stones From Darwin Estate Displayed

April 18, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ Stones from the country estate where scientist Charles Darwin developed his theories on evolution were placed Tuesday on the roof of a new building at the Natural History Museum that will bear his name.

Darwin’s great-great-great granddaughter, Sarah Darwin, laid the flints at a ceremony to mark the completion of the first stage of development of the $43.2 million Darwin Center.

The stones once formed part of the Sandwalk, a path at Down House in the southeast England county of Kent where Darwin used to ponder the theories about natural selection that led to his landmark book ``The Origin of Species.″

When completed, the center will hold 12 million zoological specimens.

``It will be both a fascinating showcase of the history of the world we live in, inspiring and enthusing the next generation of scientists, and a world-class resource for modern researchers,″ said Laurence Smaje, director of medicine, society and history programs for the Wellcome Trust, which has pledged money to the five-year project.

Sarah Darwin is a research botanist at the Natural History Museum.

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