Crystal Palace dinosaurs added to 'at risk' register

Crystal Palace dinosaurs added to 'at risk' register

BBC·2020-02-28 08:03

Chris Redgrave/Historic England

Some of the sculptures are displaying signs of cracks and disrepair

A dinosaur park featuring 30 reptilian replicas has been added to a list of sites at risk of being lost.

The collection of life-size creations at Crystal Palace Park in London has developed cracks, with some statues in danger of losing toes, teeth and tails.

Historic England has added the Grade I-listed creations, which date back to the mid-1850s, to its "at risk" register.

The heritage charity said: "We don't want them to become extinct again."

The dinosaurs were created between 1852 and 1855 by artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkin.

Although the cause of their deterioration is not yet known, ground movement on artificial islands or changing water levels in surrounding lakes is suspected.

Duncan Wilson, from Historic England, said: "By adding them to our heritage at risk register, we can focus attention on them and ensure a lasting programme of repairs and on-going maintenance is carried out."

Historic England said the creatures represented the cutting edge of scientific knowledge at the time and would have been "an extraordinary sight" to the Victorians.

They are now deemed to be inaccurate by current understanding.

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