Lonely Planet Writer

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is throwing a party for Ben the dinosaur

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels is set to throw a party for ‘Ben’ the plateosaurus after it crowdsourced the funding to assemble and install the herbivorous dinosaur skeleton in the museum.

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The event will take place on Friday 21 April from 7-11 pm in the museum’s Dinosaur Gallery and will feature music, a graffiti display and an auction. It took the institute just two weeks to publicly raise the funds to display the five-metre-long plateosaurus with the money going towards the tailor-made metallic structure, the construction of a podium and educative support.

An unidentified man assembles a six metre-long skeletal of a plateosaurus in the National Museum of Natural history in Leiden.The remains were dug up near Frick in Switzerland.
An unidentified man assembles a six metre-long skeletal of a plateosaurus in the National Museum of Natural history in Leiden.The remains were dug up near Frick in Switzerland. Image by Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images

When ‘Ben’ goes on display it will be the first time that the museum has added a new dinosaur to its gallery for over 100 years.  Made of over 200 pieces, it has taken the museum’s palaeontology laboratory nine months to reconstruct the 210 million-year-old dinosaur. Among the items going up for auction are a cast of Ben’s talon and a cast of Ben’s skull; a selection of Conz collectable Dino stamps signed by the artist; professional photographs taken in the museum; several artworks by Propaganza and five original caricatures by Gal.

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Entry for the PlateoNIGHT event is priced at €25, but is free for those under 12 years old. ‘Ben’ takes his name from Dr Ben Papst, the palaeontologist who discovered the skeleton at a quarry in Frick, SwitzerlandAs well as a number of rooms that covers minerals, shells, insects, fossils, birds and the evolution of mankind, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences hosts temporary exhibitions. The museum is currently hosting a display called Poison, which focuses on venomous creatures. The gallery is also being renovated as a new room that focuses on biodiversity and ecology is being built.
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