Once more – the race is on.
A year ago, through your generosity and kindness, we raised the seemingly impossible sum of S$46 million to ensure that a new natural history museum for Singapore will be built. This has not only secured its priceless century-old collections but will offer a large gallery for public education.
One of the many iconic displays we want to place in this gallery is a model of the famous 1800s whale. However, we also realized that in the modern world, what would make a truly world-class gallery that excites a new generation of nature lovers would be the addition of a magnificent display of dinosaurs.
Yet, real dinosaur fossils are extremely hard to come by, if at all. As destiny would have it, through a series of unexpected coincidences, the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) was given a unique chance in April 2011 to purchase genuine and near complete fossils of a family of three gigantic sauropod dinosaurs – among the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth! One is rare enough, but a group of three, which includes an even rarer teenage dinosaur, is unprecedented!
Contrary to what many people think, dinosaurs are not “alien” to Singapore’s history! When dinosaurs walked the Earth over 100 million years ago, Singapore was part of a mega continent that had such giants. The educational and research value of dinosaurs is that they greatly help us understand life on Earth. To document the history of life, we must know why dinosaurs were so successful and understand the circumstances that led to their demise. Dinosaurs will help Singaporeans understand the biodiversity, climate change and extinction challenges now facing mankind and the planet.
Throughout the world, dinosaurs are renowned as “catalysts” to get people of all ages excited about biodiversity, natural history and science. Their educational value is, therefore, second to none.
This family of three dinosaurs will be the centre-piece of the new gallery, the “pièce de résistance” which places the new museum and Singapore on the world stage. The HEADLINE stories, which made the front pages of both the Sunday Times & Zaobao on 10 July and “Why we need dinos” on 17 July (attached), are testament to the excitement, interest and value of such an acquisition for the new museum.
We really hope you can help us bring these fascinating and majestic dinosaurs to Singapore. Please join us in donating to the Dinosaur Exhibit at rmbr.nus.edu.sg/dino.
With thanks from the bottom of our hearts.”
Leo, Peter, Swee Hee and Belinda
RMBR Fundraising Committee
Hop over the Raffles Museum News blog for the news and discussion about the motivation to bring the dinosaurs to Singapore – http://rafflesmuseum.wordpress.com.
See also details of the public talk on Fri 29 Jul 2011 at the National Museum of Singapore – “From Whence We Came: The History & Future of Singapore’s Raffles Museum“.