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The Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus cast – Dippy – is preparing to set up residence in Coventry. The Jurassic giant will head to the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum from Monday 20th February 2023 for an initial period of three years for the free installation Dippy in Coventry: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur.
Dippy, a cast of a Diplodocus skeleton, first arrived in London in 1905. The 292-bone replica skeleton has proved a huge hit ever since inspiring generations of visitors to connect with nature. After 110 years on display at the Museum in London, Dippy embarked on an eight-city tour, which saw it take in every country in the UK, spending time in Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff, Rochdale, and Norwich. Every venue and region that played host to the well-travelled Diplodocus cast reported what has come to be known as the ‘Dippy effect’, with a record-breaking two million visitors recorded and an economic benefit of just under £36m across the eight regions.
More recently Dippy returned to the Museum for our temporary installation Dippy Returns: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur, which was visited by over one million people. It is hoped that the same benefits will be seen in Coventry, with the dino-star continuing to engage people of all ages with nature and inspiring them to protect it.
Dr Doug Gurr, Museum Director said, ‘Dippy has always been a much loved and hugely popular attraction here in London. This popularity made our favourite dinosaur the perfect ambassador for nature when we sent Dippy on tour to all four corners of the UK where is was visited by over 2 million people!
‘After a brief respite back here at the Museum where over a million more people visited Dippy Returns: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur, we couldn’t be more thrilled that Dippy will now be taking up residence in Coventry.
‘We wish the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum every success and know that Dippy will continue to educate and inspire visitors to explore nature on their own doorsteps and become advocates for the planet.’
Those who will miss Dippy’s presence at the Natural History Museum will be pleased to know that a new weatherproof bronze replica of the much-loved Diplodocus specimen will be welcoming visitors in the grounds of the Museum as part of its Urban Nature Project, due for completion in early 2024.
Dippy’s long-term loan to Herbert Art Gallery & Museum comes after the venue underwent a vast refurbishment in preparation for Coventry UK City of Culture, enabling the gallery to display more works and major world-class exhibitions including The Turner Prize 2021.
Paul Breed, CEO of CV Life which operates Herbert Art Gallery & Museum said, ‘Dippy is the UK’s most popular dinosaur so to have something so huge, so iconic, coming to Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is just fantastic.
‘It’s a brilliant opportunity for the Herbert, but with how much footfall it will bring, it’s also a huge opportunity for Coventry and the wider economy.
‘We look forward to welcoming Dippy and I can’t wait to see the impact it will have on visitors.
‘This kind of world class exhibit should be available to all and I’m glad that with our free ticketing system Dippy will be accessible to everyone, from Coventry school kids to international tourists – it’s going to be a brilliant three years.’
Free tickets will be available to book at the Herbert website closer to Dippy’s arrival.
Notes to editors
Natural History Museum media contact:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654 / 07799690151
Four Culture team media contact:
Images available to download here.
The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited indoor attraction in the UK last year. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.
It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens accessed by researchers from all over the world both in person and via over 30 billion digital data downloads to date. The Museum’s 350 scientists are finding solutions to the planetary emergency from biodiversity loss through to the sustainable extraction of natural resources.
The Museum uses its global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome millions of visitors through our doors each year, our website has had 17 million visits in the last year and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 20 million people in the last 10 years.
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is an award-winning gallery and museum situated in the cultural heart of Coventry. The Herbert has a large and wide-ranging collection including social history, archaeology, natural history and art. There are around 6,000 works in the Herbert's visual arts collection, the earliest of which is an Elizabethan portrait attributed to Lucas de Heere. British life and landscape feature in canvases by LS Lowry, Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg, Paul Nash and George Shaw. The Gallery collects new and recent art in a variety of media and styles, currently developing a collection of art on the themes of conflict, peace and reconciliation. Temporary exhibition spaces have hosted collections from museums nationally and internationally. The Herbert recently underwent a vast redevelopment in preparation for Coventry UK City of Culture, enabling the gallery to display more works and major world-class exhibitions.
CV Life – which operates the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – receives regular public funding from Coventry City Council and Arts Council England.