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US National Museum of Natural History to renovate dinosaur hall

03 May 2012 (Last Updated May 3rd, 2012 18:30)

The US National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., US, administered by the Smithsonian Institution, is planning to renovate its dinosaur exhibition hall at a cost of $45m.

US National Museum of Natural History  dinosaur hall

The US National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., US, administered by the Smithsonian Institution, is planning to renovate its dinosaur exhibition hall at a cost of $45m.

The Smithsonian has received a $35m gift from Koch Industries executive vice president David Koch for the construction of a new hall.

The renovation will allow the museum to showcase its collection of 46 million fossils and feature new displays on how dinosaurs and other creatures lived.

The existing dinosaur hall will remain open until spring 2014 and selected dinosaur specimens will remain displayed in other public areas of the museum.

National Museum of Natural History director Cristian Samper said: "The new paleobiology and dinosaur hall will enable us not only to show remarkable fossils, but also to present the latest scientific findings about how life on Earth has evolved."

The museum’s public display of dinosaurs and paleontology has not been renovated for more than 30 years and the exhibition space has become outdated due to a lack of funding for a renovation, according to the Smithsonian.

Design preparations for the renovation will start immediately; ahead of the upgrade, museum officials will remove about 10,000 bones and other fragile specimens from the current exhibition.

The latest renovation follows earlier projects in the museum, including the refurbishment of the Behring Family Hall of Mammals in 2003, the Butterfly Pavilion in 2007, the Sant Ocean Hall in 2008 and the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins in 2010.

The museum hosts about 127 million specimens and artifacts, attracting about seven million visitors per year.


Image: The renovation will allow the museum to showcase its full collection of 46 million fossils. Photo: Chip Clark.