Dippy the Diplodocus will be moved from his famous home in London’s Natural History Museum next month to be prepared for a nationwide tour.
Never before on public display outside London, Dippy will travel to eight venues across the country from early 2018 until late 2020.
In chronological order, Dippy will be on show at: Dorset County Museum; Birmingham Museum; Ulster Museum; Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow; Great North Museum Newcastle; National Assembly of Wales; Number One Riverside Rochdale; and Norwich Cathedral.
The Natural History Museum said: “Dippy’s journey across the UK will follow the grand sweep of geological time.
“The tour begins on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, and ends in Norwich, exploring how we may secure a sustainable future.”
Dr Jon Murden, director of the Dorset County Museum, added: “As the birthplace of palaeontology, there is nowhere in the UK more appropriate for Dippy to start the tour than Dorset.
“There are connections to be made between our internationally significant fossil collections and current coastal management, and therefore we’re delighted to be working in partnership on this tour with the Jurassic Coast Team and Trust.”
Sir Michael Dixon, director of the Natural History Museum, explained: “We wanted Dippy to visit unusual locations so he can draw in people that may not traditionally visit a museum.
“Making iconic items accessible to as many people as possible is at the heart of what museums give to the nation, so we have ensured that Dippy will still be free to view at all tour venues.
“Working with our eight partners we look forward to inspiring five million natural history adventures and encouraging children from across the country to develop a passion for science and nature.”
The museum will hold ‘Dinosaur Season’ events in South Kensington until the end of December 2016 and Dippy’s last day on show in the Hintze Hall will be January 4, 2017.
In summer 2017 a diving Blue Whale skeleton will take centre stage as part of a reimagining of the Hintze Hall.
Picture: Trustees of the Natural History Museum