A team of scientists from Belgium’s Royal Institute of Natural Sciences has been reconstructing the skeleton of “Ben”, the plateosaurus, for several months. The dinosaur will be installed in the museum’s Dinosaur Gallery this coming December.
The reconstruction called for funds so the Royal Institute started a crowdfunding campaign in mid-March. It proposed that the general public clubbed together to raise the €25,000 needed for the project. The Royal Institute announced yesterday (Tuesday) that the objective had now been achieved to the level of 104%.
The Royal Institute mentions that although the objective has been reached, the campaign to gather funds continues. It states that the sums raised as of now will be used to finance the production of the “set costs”. These cover the period since Ben’s arrival in Brussels last year through to his installation in the Dinosaurs’ Gallery. These sums will also finance the cost of other restoration works for Gallery collections and maintenance. This year the Gallery will be ten years old.
Moreover, there will be a PlateoNIGHT, an events evening with artists who are rallying together for Ben, held on April 21st from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Visitors will be able to see the urban arts collaborations including, of particular note, Propaganza, Qotob Trio, BJ Scott and Axel Hirsoux.
Returning to Ben, he is a specimen aged 210 million years old, who arrived in Brussels in May 2016, taking the form of 200 fossilised bones with a weight of around 500 kilograms. This herbivore, that is nearly five metres long, comes from Frick, in Switzerland. For nine months, he was analysed and reconstructed in the museum’s palaeontology laboratory.