When a recent archaeological dig in the Charente department of France unearthed a huge finding of 7000 prehistoric bones, including the enormous femur of a sauropod, two organisations - le Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Angoulême and l’association Paléocharente - decided to raise funds for an exhibition in an unusual way.
From May 20, the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Angoulême will exhibit the discoveries of an archaeological dig which took place in January 2010 at a Charente quarry, where 7000 bones were found.
The exhibition will be called ‘Dinosaurs, the giants of the vineyard’ and members of the public are being invited to play a part by getting one of the bones named after them for a donation of 30 euros.
‘They are classified as treasures of French museums’, says the curator Jean-François Tournepiche, of the bones. By naming a bone after you, he says, ‘you’ll be part of an inalienable heritage for eternity’.
Once you sign up, a label bearing your name will be hung on the chosen bone and displayed at the museum. You will receive a photo and a certificate.
The aim of the novel idea is to raise 7500€ in 60 days, via the platform Bulb in Town (bulbintown.com). The money will go towards one of the main parts of the exhibition - a reconstructed leg of a sauropod. This six meter high leg will then be placed in the entrance of the museum.
To make a huge dinosaur leg is a big undertaking. First you have to make copies in resin of the original bones which are very heavy, split up and deformed. From copies, every fragment is cut individually and once made they become a 3D puzzle to be put together.
The Bulb in Town site says France’s Ministry of Culture only protects archaeological remains and finances research of the history of man, not dinosaurs. Meaning laws do not protect dinosaurs remains and the state does not finance either their research or rescue. The bone of a dinosaur has about as much protection as a pebble and belongs to the owner of the land where it was found.