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The museum with its permanent exhibition the Magical World of Shells opened on September 13th 2011 under the auspices of the Piran MEDITERANUM institute thanks to the biologist Jan Simič, a collector and owner of a big collection of shellfish and snails, a selection of which is shown in the museum. Jan Simič arranged and enriched the exhibition as well as accompanied it with educational texts. He is also the exhibit’s head specialist.
 

The Piran’s Magical World of Shells Museum is an exceptional and unique museum that currently holds 3000 different specimens of shellfish and snails from all the seas and continents of the world.
 
The specimens of our Slovenian sea have a special place and significance. The museum is the only one of its kind in Slovenia and a rare example of its kind in the world. It holds not only “sea” representatives, but also specimens found in rivers, lakes, caves…; as well as fossils and different other creatures who share the seabed with shellfish and marine gastropods, such as crabs, starfish, sea urchin, etc.
 
The museum is designed in a highly informative manner promoting environmental awareness and nature conservation. Its visit is a unique and unforgettable experience. The museum is constantly expanding and improving with new specimens and stories and no matter how often you visit, it will always surprise you with something new.

 

You just have to visit the Magical World of Shells exhibition, where you’ll dive into the depths of sea and get acquainted with the creatures so uniquely shaped and patterned any architect would envy.

You can see the shell of the biggest snail in the world, shells of snails so rare that only tribal chiefs of distant islands were allowed to wear, shiny shells that were once used for buying slaves, shells with amazing patterns, pearls, etc.
 
You simply can’t imagine all the creatures that adorn the seabed!

 

Shellfish and snails are one of the oldest animal group types that can be found on our planet. Through evolution they evolved into many incredible shapes, donning many different patterns and had grown to such immense sizes it’s sometimes hard to believe some of them are relatives of the well-known garden snail.

 
 

The magical world of shells awaits you with a lot of other surprises; among them is our Slinko, a sweet, bright and inquisitive little snail.

 
 
 
Contributors establishing the museum and its Magical World of Shells exhibition:
 
Jan Simič – the owner of the biggest part of the collection, collection layout and author of the accompanying text
Slobodan Simič Sime – founding of the museum and project management, design of printed materials and photography
Aleš Sedmak – co-designer of the exhibition mascot Drooly (Slinko, ) and the big illustration of the Slovenian coast
Matjaž Učakar – co-designer of the exhibition mascot and diorama illustrations
Marjan Richter, Tihomir Makovec, Tom Turk – underwater photography
Aleš Lavrič – soundscape
Davorin Preisinger – lent some of the rare fossils
Valter Žiža – lent some of the rare fossils
Rajko Slapnik – freshwater and terrestrial mollusc specimens

 
 
Opening of the museum was made possible with the financial support from:
Piran MEDITERANUM Institute
Irena Zemljič Simič
Municipality of Piran