If you’re planning a trip to London, make sure you take a final look at the iconic Diplodocus model at the Natural History Museum, which is going to be replaced by a giant blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling.
The much-loved dinosaur cast, nicknamed Dippy, has stood in the museum’s main hall for 35 years but it will be retired in 2017, when it could go on tour.
Sir Michael Dixon, director of the museum, said it was an ‘important and necessary change’ reminding visitor’s of how the Earth’s current rich biodiversity urgently needs protecting.
The redevelopment of Hintze Hall marks the beginning of a decade of change for the museum described in its new strategy.
It plans to change how the collection is developed and displayed for future generations as well as how it creates and shares its scientific research, so that ‘engaging with the natural world is a part of everyone’s lives’.
The whale was found beached and injured by whalers in Wexford Harbour, Ireland, in 1891. It was bought by the museum and first went on display in the Mammal Hall in 1938, where it currently hangs above a life-size model of a blue whale.
The museum says that ‘while the Diplodocus is an iconic centrepiece, dinosaurs are only one facet of the research carried out’ there.
However, a ‘Save Dippy’ campaign has so far gathered more than 14,000 signatures.