It's here! Dippy the Dinosaur arrives in Norwich at end of tour
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
It has already attracted millions of people across the UK and after days of careful construction Dippy the Dinosaur is ready to welcome thousands more at Norwich Cathedral.
The 26m-long plaster cast replica of fossilised bones, which was a popular centrepiece at London's Natural History Museum, has been on a tour in seven tourist attractions since 2018 and will finish in the 900-year-old cathedral nave.
Tens of thousands of school children are expected to visit as well as families and fans of the model, which will be on show from 1pm on July 13 until October 30.
Dippy on Tour was due to be in the cathedral last year but could not happen because of Covid lockdowns.
But it has now arrived, transported in 16 crates in a series of lorries.
The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: "What a relief it is to have Dippy here at last. He looks amazing. This is the most outstanding location of the tour. It feels like a fitting climax.
"It is going to bring joy and normality. We know children are excited about Dippy which will bring some fun.
"He will also highlight big issues we face today, including the environment."
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Andy Wahl, Natural History Museum lead technician, who was involved in speaking to leaders from venues who wanted to host the dinosaur, said he was impressed with the Dean's bubbly enthusiasm for the project.
He said: "There has never been a dinosaur in a cathedral before. I was sad when Dippy was taken down from the museum but since we have been involved in the tour, it has been amazing seeing the faces of people seeing the iconic model."
The technician added it was important to make London attractions, which are often expensive to travel to, geographically accessible.
Rev Canon Andy Bryant, Dippy project manager for Norwich Cathedral, said: "He looks spectacular. I hope it will bring lots of visitors to Norfolk and reinvigorate the economy after lockdown."
It is free entry to see the dinosaur, made up of 292 bones, and organisers will follow any Covid safety regulations.
There will be children's activities as well as the chance for school parties and the visually-impaired to visit for 30-minute slots to see a model of Dippy's head.
Cathedral services will be held in the East End.