Dippy’s memory is to live on in the form of a bronze Diplodocus cast from the same moulds that gave birth to the Natural History Museum’s iconic dinosaur attraction.
The “son of Dippy” exhibit is to be a permanent weatherproof feature standing in newly landscaped grounds outside the Grade I-listed building in London.
Dippy, an 83ft long plaster replica of a giant Diplodocus sauropod, had welcomed visitors to the museum’s massive Hintze Hall since 1979, but will next year be replaced by a blue whale skeleton.
The decision to move Dippy out prompted a petition signed by more than 30,000 people and a “save Dippy campaign” on social media.
Finally a compromise was struck with plans to send Dippy on a tour of the country early in 2018.
The bronze version of Dippy is included in new plans for the museum drawn up by architect Niall McLaughlin and landscape designer Kim Wilkie.
It is due to stand outside on the building’s eastern corner, where it faces the V&A museum.
The Natural History Museum has applied for planning permission to revitalise its outdoor space with a larger, more continuous green area.
Museum director Sir Michael Dixon said: “We are prioritising nature, recognising the value of urban green spaces for both wildlife and human well-being. By creating an inspirational outdoor experience for all to enjoy, the living natural world becomes an integral part of visiting the museum for more than five million people a year.
“Expanding the museum experience beyond the galleries is part of a decade of transformation, as we work to challenge the way people think about nature and a sustainable future.”
A museum spokesman said the bronze cast would be freshly created from the original Dippy moulds and formally known as “the Diplodocus”.
He added: “We’re also keen to avoid confusion with the 111-year-old icon which will be popping up at venues all over the UK at the same time as work is under way on the grounds project back here in South Kensington.
“It’s tricky to keep these two versions clear in people’s minds, but I guess it is easiest to consider them as siblings, or two sides of the same coin.”