Crystal Palace dinosaur saved from extinction after lockdown damage

The much-loved Grade I listed Megalosaurus in Crystal Palace Park will be restored after large parts of its upper and lower jaw were damaged during the first national lockdown.

The project launched to raise funds for the complex restoration has secured £24,870, with £19,870 coming from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and £3,500 from the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs.

The remaining funds required to undertake the works have been provided by Bromley Council.

Ellinor Michel, Chair of Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs said “We’re grateful to Historic England, Bromley Council, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and all of our Friends for helping us to conserve these stupendous beasts for future generations.

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The project will focus on repairing extensive damage to the head of the Megalosaurus, particularly to large parts of the upper and lower jaw.

The council have appointed specialist conservators Taylor Pearce to undertake the repairs, which will focus primarily on replacing detached parts of the sculpture with replica sections.

This will improve the short-term appearance of the Megalosaurus, protect the sculpture from effects of the weather and enable further investigative works for long-term repairs.

The dinosaurs in Crystal Palace are Grade I listed
(Image: MyLondon)

Unveiled in 1854, the Megalosaurus is one of 30 sculptures that are the first life-size reconstructions of the extinct animals.

The internationally significant Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are, however, in a considerable state of decline and repair works to the Megalosaurus are crucial to preventing further deterioration to the already unstable sculpture.

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Councillor Morgan, Executive Councillor for Renewal, Recreation and Housing said “The Dinosaurs are a beloved community asset with a large national and international following.

“News of the damage caused to the Megalosaurus during the lockdown period was extremely disheartening, and the Council has been working alongside the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs and Historic England to secure the stability of the already fragile sculpture.

“Now, this work is underway and we can protect the Megalosaurus from dilapidating past the point of repair.”

You can follow how the restoration goes on the Crystal Palace Dinosaur’s Twitter account here.

My London – Bromley