Coventry is gearing up for a giant visitor this February as an iconic Jurassic exhibit is taking residence at a city art gallery and museum.
The Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus cast – Dippy – will head to the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum from Monday 20th February 2023 for an initial period of three years, with tickets for the free installation Dippy in Coventry: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur available in advance via the Herbert’s website, with more details to follow.
Dippy, a cast of a Diplodocus skeleton, first arrived in London in 1905. The 292-bone, 26 metres long, 4.17 metres high 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 its 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.
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.”
A new weatherproof bronze replica of the much-loved Diplodocus specimen will be welcoming visitors in the grounds of the Natural History Museum as part of its Urban Nature Project, due for completion in early 2024.
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 it 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.”
Tickets are available to book in advance via https://dippyincoventry.co.uk/.
Main Image: NHM London.