Dinosaur repair work at Crystal Palace Park soon underway

Published Friday, 13 November 2020

Works to repair the much-loved Grade I listed Megalosaurus will soon get underway.

The £24,870 project is funded by £19,870 from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund and £3,500 from the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs. The remaining funds required to undertake these works have been provided by the council.

The project will focus on repairing extensive damage to the head of the Grade I listed Megalosaurus, particularly to large parts of the upper and lower jaw. The incident was reported during the Covid-19 lockdown period, as a result of unauthorised access onto the Dinosaur Island.

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. The repair works to the Megalosaurus are crucial to preventing further deterioration to the already unstable sculpture.

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.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive said “Historic places across the country, from Durham Cathedral embodying more than a thousand years of history to the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, much loved by children and grownups alike, are being supported by the government’s latest round of grants awarded under the Culture Recovery Fund. This funding is a lifeline which is kick starting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of Covid-19. It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help to keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning. Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”

Ellinor Michel, Chair of Friends of CP Dinosaurs said “We're grateful to Historic England, Bromley Council, DCMS and all of our Friends for helping us to conserve these stupendous beasts for future generations.

The CP Dinos, set within the geological 'walk through time', will continue to communicate the history of scientific ideas and help us to understand our world through our love of dinosaurs!”

In November 2020, the council appointed specialist conservators Taylor Pearce to undertake the repairs. The works 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.

Alongside ensuring the stability of the structure, these works are critical to supporting a cherished historic structure, which is regularly enjoyed by the local community, and is a focus for teaching and volunteer engagement. Culture creates jobs, supports livelihoods and brings joy to everyone, and the council is proud to continue to show its support for culture with support from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk