Dippy, the diplodocus, retires from The Natural History Museum’s Hintz Hall after 110 year’s service
He has left literally millions of children slack-jawed in awe over his 110 year career. But now Dippy, the 83-foot long replica diplodocus skeleton and undisputed star of the central Hintz Hall at The Natural History Museum will lose his prime position in the central atrium.
The much-loved plaster cast frame of the outsize creature, who arrived in 1905 after King Edward VI saw an illustration of the original skeleton in Wyoming, will be replaced in 2017 by a similarly dimensioned behemoth; an 83-foot blue whale skeleton will be erected, diving out of the wall into the central hall, doubtless ready to delight and terrify future generations of visitors.
The move is aimed at highlighting our ‘responsibility to the planet’, but NHM director, Sir Michael Dixon, acknowledges the concerns around the move, and the disappointment the disappearance of Dippy could spell for visitors. He said: ‘We’re focusing on the real and authentic. Much loved as Dippy is, he’s a plaster cast replica of a diplodocus, and one of a number around the world. We think this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-imagine the main hall… This is not about saying Dippy is of no value, he’s an icon of the museum, but the new exhibit will allow us to tell a range of stories about the museum and its purpose.’