Crowdfund launched "to bring MK's friendly monster to Milton Keynes Museum"

    Milton Keynes Museum has launched a crowdfunding campaign to finally bring the area's oldest known resident home to the history hub.

    The Ichthyosaur fossil was revealed during excavation work for Caldecotte Lake, in 1982.

    “When the Ichthyosaur was discovered, it was difficult to find somewhere suitable to display it - nowhere seemed anxious to take it,” said Museum director Bill Griffiths, “Fortunately, Milton Keynes Central Library could offer the security needed. Now we are aiming to tell the history of our City in one place and the Ichthyosaur is a key part of that story.”

    The fundraiser will allow the Ichthyosaur to become a permanent part of the Museum's impressive new galleries which are set to open this autumn.

    The Museum needs to raise £25,000 through the Art Fund backed appeal – and has less than five weeks to do it.

    “It's not as easy as simply removing the display case and bringing him to Wolverton,” said Bill, “If only it was!

    “The fossil needs to be removed, examined and conserved so we don't lose any of it, and to prevent it from corroding. We need to restore it to pristine condition, and the structure housing it needs to be replaced.

    “We really hope the public of Milton Keynes will rally and help us to raise the funds necessary for the restoration,” Bill said, “Our supporters are wonderfully loyal, and every penny really will count. This is the oldest exhibit we'll have in the Museum. It is intriguing for all, and will spark the imaginations of children, which is wonderful.

    “That Milton Keynes had Ichthyosaurs swimming in our warm seas when the Dinosaurs ruled the land is part of our true history and that is what we are about.”

    People donating to the fundraiser can choose from a number of incentives and awards – from enamel badges and limited edition artwork to hand-on experiences with never-before-seen fossils.

    You will even be able to suggest a name for MK's friendly monster!

    “It will be absolutely fantastic to have the Ichthyosaur coming to take centre stage in the story of ancient Milton Keynes,” added Bill, “It will welcome visitors just as Dippy, the Diplodocus, did in the Hall of the Natural History Museum.

    “The Ichthyosaur and Dippy are about the same age, and while it may not be a dinosaur, and may not be as big as Dippy, unlike Dippy, our Ichthyosaur is a real fossil - not just a cast.

    “If we are successful, I know that for years to come visitors to the Museum will take the Ichthyosaur to their hearts.”

     

    To donate to the campaign, please visit www.artfund.org/mkfossil

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