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The Natural History Museum's Dippy the Dinosaur is getting 'flat-packed' away

Alexandra Sims

London’s most beloved dinosaur, Dippy the Diplodocus, is about to get ‘flat-packed’ away before being taken on a nationwide tour.

The 26-metre-long plaster-cast replica has been on display in London since 1905 and is one of the most popular attractions at the Natural History Museum where it holds a coveted spot in the Hintze Hall. 

But today was the landmark dino's last day at the museum until at least 2020, as he gets packed away tomorrow.  

Dippy at Natural History Museum

And this isn't any old IKEA-style operation. A six-person team will begin dismantling Dippy's 292 bones on Thursday and the whole process is expected to take three weeks.   

Kat Nilsson, head of national public programmes at the museum, said: 'We are going to turn him, essentially, into flatpack Dippy so that he can be put together – probably in four days by the end of it, maybe even less.'

Lorraine Cornish, head of conservation at the museum, said Dippy is expected to fill 12 crates. The skeleton will also be mapped and extensively labelled so each of the vertebrae can be easily located. 

Dippy’s journey across the UK will last from early 2018 to late 2020, beginning on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and finishing in Norwich. And while Dippy’s off on holiday, a diving Blue Whale skeleton will take up his spot in the Natural History Museum.

Going to the Natural History Museum? Here are some of the best things to see.

And avoid the crowds with our guide to when to visit London's busiest museums.

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