BOOK REVIEWS the Kunstkamera. Foreign visitors to German museums may have noted that the word Kunst nowadays denotes âartâ, but an older, now obsolete, meaning was âscienceâ. The ï¬ve-storey palace still housing the Kunstkamera was purpose-built between 1718 and 1734, but Peter began purchasing natural history objects for it in Amsterdam in 1698. As noted in a recent review (Archives of natural history 29: 406â407), Peter acquired the German pharmacist Albertus Sebaâs cabinet of curiosities in 1712, and items from a new collection that Seba had built up were purchased, after Peterâs death, for the museum at an auction in Amsterdam in 1752. Perhaps the most famous of Peterâs acquisitions was the anatomical and natural history collection of the Dutch physician Frederik Ruysch. In 1836 the Kunstkamera was broken up and the zoological, botanical and mineralogical collections removed to new sites around St Petersburg. In 2003, for the ï¬rst time in almost 170 years, hundreds of historical specimens of the original Kunstkamera were brought together again under one roof, in Dortmund and afterwards in Gotha. Although this exhibition âPalast des Wissensâ (âpalace of knowledgeâ) has ï¬nished, the splendidly illustrated, two-volume catalogue and book of essays remain in print.