A ‘Save Dippy’ campaign is challenging The Natural History Museum‘s announcement that it would be replacing the iconic Diplodocus replica in the entrance of the museum with the skeleton of a Blue Whale by 2017.
The big reveal by the museum has caused controversy and the growing petition suggests evicting the cast dinosaur skeleton could be an unpopular move.
The Diplodocus, nicknamed ‘Dippy’, has stood in Hintze Hall welcoming Natural History Museum visitors for 35 years.
Dippy is an exact plaster replica of the near-complete dinosaur skeleton that was uncovered in the USA in 1898.
It was donated to the museum in 1905 and was the first full skeleton of a Sauropod dinosaur to go on display in the world.
Thousands of people have taken to twitter to air their views of the Natural History Museum’s plans.
The dinosaur now has his very own fan based Twitter account @SaveDippy.
The SaveDippy account’s personal description reads ‘Natural History Museum dinosaur looking for work. Forced into retirement at the young age of 150 million. Still have life left in me #SaveDippy.’
However the Natural History Museum’s twitter account for Dippy @NHM_Dippy has a more positive approach as to why Dippy being moved from the entrance is a good decision.
The Blue Whale skeleton that will replace Dippy will be suspended from the ceiling, as if diving down.
The change of Dippy to Blue Whale was planned by the museum director, Sir Michael Dixon, and is part of a ‘decade of transformation.’
Dixon stated that the museum wanted to focus on the ‘real and authentic.’
Sir Michael Dixon is also sympathetic to Dippy’s many fans.
After inspiring millions of visitors over 35 years, it’s no surprise to me that some want to keep the Diplodocus centre stage.
We love Dippy too. Once it leaves Hintze Hall, taking the Diplodocus on tour would inspire many more millions of people and, given the public response, we will now see how we can involve people in making this tour happen. In the longer term, Dippy is destined to find a new home back in South Kensington.
I believe the whale’s story links directly to our species’ impact on the natural world and our chance to build a sustainable future. We’re looking forward to showing that the blue whale can be equally stunning and it will connect the visitors to the work of scientists in the museum.