Friday, 14 August 2015

A day at the museum

We asked visitors what they thought about Dippy going…

Mel Small , 60, a regular visitor to the museum.
‘It makes me sad, because Dippy has been there ever since I’ve started visiting the Natural History Museum. I raised my children practically in the museum, so I’m going to miss it.’

Joya Tang, 27, a visitor from Bangkok.
‘I like the dinosaur better [than the whale]. But if he’s touring around it’ll be better for other people to see him too.’ Bill TAYLO R, in his 60s, from Reigate, thinks it’s time for a change. ‘He’s been here for so long. The trouble is that kids are far more intrigued by dinosaurs than they are by whales. I presume the museum is trying to push the business of nature conservation. We’ve failed on dinosaurs a long time ago – I guess we have to protect the whales now.’

Linda Green, 50, from Reading, agrees with the museum director that the tour will give those who have never seen Dippy the chance to do so.
‘I think it’s lovely that he’s going to go on tour in different places where so many more people will be able to see him. He’s been here a very long time, but there are so many people that are never going to get here to see him. If he goes up to Scotland, or the middle of the country, people who can’t get down here can see him there.’

Luke Brown, 19, and Alice Robinson, 18, from Essex, have differing views.
‘I think it’s taking away from what the Natural History Museum is all about, and that’s seeing dinosaurs,’ says Luke. Alice, however, would rather see the whale: ‘I think it’ll be more exciting,’ she says. Vindal sing h, 37, from London, visiting with his five-year-old son Nick, said, ‘I’m quite sad, because I always used to come here and he’d be here. I’ve actually brought my son to see the dinosaur. It’s bad they’re getting rid of it. He is the icon of the museum. Every time I’ve come in I always pass him, and my son is learning about dinosaurs, so I bring him.’ An employee at the museum said, ‘Dippy leaves a great impression the first time you walk in here. But if you get used to it, it’s nice to have a change. I like it. It’s a positive thing, and we have a new dinosaur that was donated last year in the Earth Hall entrance. It’s a stegosaurus called Sophie. I think moving Dippy around is a good idea, and he’ll be back.’

From September, indoor museums and other venues can apply to host Dippy on his UK tour. The key requirements are:

Sufficient space to allow for Dippy’s installation and the flow of visitors.
Adequate security.
The ability to reach a large, diverse audience.

Eagle-eyed visitors may have noticed that Dippy’s appearance has changed over the years. His head used to point downwards, while his tail used to graze the ground. His posture was altered twice to reflect changes in scientific thinking, with his neck raised following new research in the 1960s, and his tail repositioned in 1993.

One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975)
Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (2014)
Paddington (2014)

TV documentaries
Museum Of Life (2010)
David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive (2014)

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