T-Rextasy: Dino replica finds home at Great Minds’ future Richmond HQ
Museum-quality duplicate of world’s priciest dino to be installed Wednesday
Call it rex appeal.
On Wednesday, Washington, D.C.-based education company Great Minds will install a museum-quality replica of Stan the Tyrannosaurus rex’s skeleton at its future headquarters in Richmond. Measuring 13 feet tall and 40 feet long, the actual Stan’s fossilized skeleton sold for $32 million in a Christie’s auction last October, making it the most expensive dinosaur fossil in history.
Stan’s sale shattered expectations, fetching a price four times Christie’s’ estimate. The sale was also nearly four times that of the previous record holder, a T-rex named Sue worth $8.4 million; both were excavated by legendary paleontologist brothers Peter and Neal Larson.
Stan is also famous for his role in a high-profile feud between the Larsons. Excavated nearly three decades ago, Stan was awarded to Neal, the younger brother, as part of lawsuit. Peter and an associate got to keep their private corporation, Black Hills Institute of Geological Research Inc., while Neal walked away with the company’s most prized dino skeleton.
On Wednesday, Peter Larson will lead the installation in person of Great Minds’ replica, which is one of 10 replicas in the United States. The installation will be broadcast via livestream and on Facebook Live, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The replica will be displayed as part of Great Minds’ permanent collection of art and furniture in its “House of Learning,” and tours will be offered to school groups beginning this fall. The poseable replica skeleton was acquired by Great Minds from Black Hills, which sells the replicas for $120,000. Each replica takes up to six months to manufacture, according to Black Hills’ website.
For the past year, renovations have been underway at Great Minds’ future headquarters at a former warehouse for C.F. Sauer Co., located at 840 Hermitage Road in Richmond. The company plans to relocate to its new 17,000-square-foot space at the Sauer Center in the second quarter of this year.
“At Great Minds, we are dedicated to making the world a more knowledge-rich place for all children — it is our goal to inspire them to achieve the greatness we know they are each capable of,” said Lynne Munson, CEO of Great Minds, in a statement. “What is better than a life-size dinosaur to inspire us as educators and to challenge children to think about all the possibilities the world has to offer? We are thrilled to welcome Stan to Great Minds’ new home in Virginia.”
Munson’s 12-year-old son George will assist in the assembly and completion of Stan by attaching his skull. The younger Munson previously met Peter Larson at the age of 9 when his family took a trip to South Dakota to visit the Black Hills Institute.
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