65 million years in the making

28th July 2003, Comments 0 comments

For the first time in Belgium, ten of the largest and most beautiful dinosaurs in the world have been brought together as part of the 'Dig a Dino' exhibition.

‘They’ll probably look smaller once I’m seven,’ remarks a young visitor dwarfed by an iguanodon skeleton at the Museum of Natural Sciences ‘Dig a Dino’ exhibition.


Ten years after the museum’s last exhibition, ‘Dinosaurs & Co.’, curator Michlele Antoine says of the decision stage another, “we are known as the ‘dinosaur museum’ and, as such, had an obligation to give our visitors more than what the permanent exhibition can offer.

"Since 1992, we’ve seen Jurassic Park and the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs — these are the kinds of things which are creating a new interest in dinosaurs and so the timing was right.”

The exhibition, which runs until 25 May, is divided into eight zones. “We’ve tried to create a different atmosphere in each of the zones, representing different periods in history and the way in which dinosaurs were regarded,” explains the exhibition’s designer, Claire De Visscher.

You will first step into a reconstruction of the Bernissart mine-shaft. Bernissart, in northwest Belgium, was the site of the first dinosaurs ever unearthed. Several 135-million-year old iguanodons were discovered there in 1978.


You will then be taken 125 years forward and travel to the plains of Mongolia where members of the museum’s palaeontology team can be seen digging, cleaning, plastering and labelling before returning with them to the lab where visitors find the reconstruction of a dinosaur’s skeleton no easy task.

Also on show is the world-famous Siber & Siber collection of dinosaurs found in Wyoming. The exhibition is a delight for children, as its organisers have gone to great lengths to make it an ‘experience’ rather than a ‘visit’, inserting interactive activities wherever possible.

As well as doing away with the science fiction surrounding dinosaurs, a secondary aim of the exhibition is to celebrate the work of palaeontologists. "Palaeontology is more than just the simple study of dinosaurs," says Pierre Bultynck, director of the museum’s palaeontology department.

Starting on 1 April, Brussels’ four major museums, including the Museum of Natural Sciences, will be offering one free invitation for every entrance purchased. The scheme, called ‘Become our Ambassador’, aims to widen the appeal of museums in the capital.


Musee des Sciences Naturelles
Rue Vautier, 29
1000 Brussels

How to get there

Parking is available behind the museum, otherwise B-excursion tickets are available from the STIB and SNCB offering discounts on your exhibition entrance when combined with a train, bus or tram fare.


  • Children under 6 go free, adults EUR 7 and students, OAPs and Friends of the Museum are be charged EUR 6.
  • Entry is free every first Wednesday of the month after 13:00.
  • Discounts are available for groups of 15 people minimum – adults are charged EUR 6 while those between the ages of 12 and 25 get in for EUR 4.50 (for reservations call 02 627 42 34).

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