Outrage Over Dinosaur’s Removal From Natural History Museum

Replica of the Diplodocus skeleton in the Central Hall of Natural History Museum in London. Photo by Pawel Libera/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Plans to remove a dinosaur skeleton from the main hall of London’s Museum of Natural History have sparked unexpected public backlash, AFP reports.

The 25.2-meter-long (83-foot-long) cast of a fossilized diplodocus, which has been affectionately nicknamed Dippy, has been at the museum since 1905 and is set to be replaced by a skeleton of a blue whale in 2017. The museum says that they hope to emphasize the impact humans have on nature by exhibiting the world’s largest mammal, which is close to extinction.

Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum told AFP: “As guardians of one of the world’s greatest scientific resources our purpose is to challenge the way people think about the natural world.” He stressed “that goal has never been more urgent … the blue whale serves as a poignant reminder that while abundance is no guarantee of survival, through our choices we can make a real difference.”

The plans have been met by fierce resistance. The Metro newspaper started an online petition, which has already collected over 21,000 signatures.

The petition states:

He has inspired generations of schoolchildren to look back to the earth’s past and help them think about looking after the planet’s future. But now after all those years, this important relic is being removed. Dippy is loved around the world and is a monument of British heritage. Replacing Dippy with a blue whale skeleton would threaten this and lead to many unhappy faces in the UK youth. We demand Dippy is saved and remains in the main hall forever.

After removing the dinosaur in 2017, the museum plans to send Dippy on a national tour of UK museums.

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