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Dippy the Diplodocus is coming home to the Museum after a tour that saw them meet over two million new friends around the UK.
The iconic dinosaur cast will be back for a temporary installation in 2022 which will show off the achievements of their travels, which has boosted local economies by millions of pounds.
The UK's most beloved dinosaur will be popping back to its ancestral home after going on tour around the country.
Dippy, a 26-metre-long Diplodocus cast, will be returning to the Museum in summer 2022 for a temporary installation after spending the past four years travelling the length and breadth the UK. During this time, they have been credited with raising millions of pounds as part of the 'Dippy effect'.
Dr Doug Gurr, Director of Museum, says: 'Our awe-inspiring goliath, Dippy, has smashed visitor records at every venue visited and brought a range of social and economic benefits to the surrounding communities.
'Along with the joy of reaching new swathes of the UK population, the tour has aimed to highlight the importance of tackling the current planetary emergency, educating and inspiring visitors to explore the nature on their own doorsteps and become advocates for the planet.
'It is also with huge excitement we announce Dippy's return to the Natural History Museum for a special temporary installation to open in 2022. This will give people the chance to see the nation’s favourite dinosaur in full splendour in South Kensington once again.'
Dippy first arrived at the Museum back in 1905, after King Edward VII remarked how much he'd like to obtain a Diplodocus specimen while visiting the home of the millionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie, who owned the bones of a specimen found in Wyoming in 1899, duly commissioned a replica.
Dippy was hidden in the basement during World War Two, but re-emerged once hostilities had ended. Since then, they have starred in films such as Paddington and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, and cemented their celebrity status by making the move to Hintze Hall in 1979.
In 2017, Dippy took a well-deserved break from the Museum, and began their tour of eight venues around the country. They have visited every country in the UK, spending time in Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff, Rochdale, and Norwich.
Over two million visitors have come to see them on their travels, breaking records for annual guest numbers at every venue. For many, this was their first time ever meeting Dippy, and the influx of people was dubbed the 'Dippy effect' by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.
These visitors have helped boost local economies by millions of pounds, with their visit to Birmingham alone estimated to have generated £4.2 million through the extra 140,000 people they drew to the city's museum.
With Dippy's tour coming to an end on Saturday 30 October, they will be prepared to return home for summer 2022. The temporary installation will celebrate the achievements of the tour and the venues that hosted Dippy as well as giving people the opportunity to see Dippy in their full glory.
The installation will run from 27 May 2022 until 2 January 2023.