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Applications are now open for venues looking to host Dippy, the Museum's famous Diplodocus, on its tour around the UK.
Venues are encouraged to get creative in their bids to take part in the tour, which begins in early 2018.
The first stage will establish whether venues are able to host the Diplodocus. Once this has been decided, some venues will progress to the second round, where they will be asked to lay out an inspiring vision of what they can offer their visitors.
Space, security and the scope to reach a wide range of people are key considerations for hosting the 21.3-metre-long, 4.3-metre-wide and 4.25-metre-tall skeleton.
The Museum hopes Dippy can visit all the nations of the UK, alongside a programme of events and educational activities in venues and across local areas.
'We are committed to making iconic items in the national collections more accessible, working with partners around the UK so that cultural venues around the country can all benefit. I urge venues to submit their best applications to help secure their place on the tour of this treasured dinosaur,' said Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum.
'However, we have never sent anything as big as Dippy beyond the Museum. We already know the costs of touring a Diplodocus will be substantial, depending on where the tour visits and how many places it goes. Over the months ahead we will be looking for partners to help us realise our vision of as many people in the UK seeing Dippy as possible.'
A shortlist of possible venues will be assessed in more detail for suitability, including site visits, before a final venue list is unveiled next year.
From the summer of 2017, a diving blue whale skeleton will be suspended in Dippy’s place at the Natural History Museum, London, as part of a re-display of Hintze Hall.
This marks the beginning of a decade of transformation for the Museum, using the national collection to challenge the way people think about our relationship with the natural world.