Today's picks

    Two dinosaur skeletons for sale in Paris

    Two fossilized dinosaur skeletons are auctioned on Wednesday by Drouot, the famous Paris auction house. It is a diplodocus of 12 meters long and an allosaurus of 3.80 meters. In June, a theropod will be proposed.
    This is a special sale announced Wednesday, April 11, the house Drouot, Paris. Two dinosaurs, an allosaurus and a diplodocus, will be auctioned , as well as a theropod in June. This kind of event is rare. There are no more than five sales a year in the world.
    If you have a large living room and a well-stocked wallet, you can afford these monsters of the past for an estimated price between 550,000  and 650,000  euros for the allosaurus, 450,000  and 500,000  euros for the diplodocus and 1,2 to 1.5  
    Whereas formerly these dinosaurs were found in museums, they are now the delight of collectors fond of these pieces of history or fans of films like “Jurassic Park”. “The fossil market is no longer reserved for scientists, dinosaurs have become cool, trendy, true decorative objects, like paintings,” says Iacopo Briano, expert for the auction house Binoche and Giquello. “Lastly, we sold a very nice piece to a Venetian family, they had a beautiful big room in which the dinosaur was perfectly comfortable.”
    In celebrities, dinosaurs are also popular. In 2007, the American actor Nicolas Cage had bought a skull of T yrannosaurusbataar, from the Gobi desert for  $ 276,000 . He had to return it a few years later because he had illegally left Mongolia. In addition, “for two or three years, the Chinese are interested in paleontology and seek, for their museums or even for individuals, large specimens to associate with dinosaurs found on their soil,” says Iacopo Briano.
    Corporate philanthropy
    But dinosaurs bought at auction do not always end up in collectors’ lounges. As L’Echos explains , many companies play the role of patrons and allow museums to show these fossils. “A CAC  40 company offered an allosaurus and exhibited it at the University of Science in Basel, Switzerland,” the business paper said. “Same scenario for the ophthalmosaurus, a marine reptile from the Jurassic sold at Christie’s in 2008. Bought 181  000 euros by another company of the CAC  40, he had been loaned to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and the Paleospace of Villers-sur-Mer [ in Normandy].”
    In 1997, McDonald’s and Walt Disney also teamed up with the Chicago Museum to purchase for  $ 8.36 million Sue, Tyrannosaurus rex’s most complete and best preserved skeleton ever unearthed.
    Even if some of these sales are concluded by an act of patronage, specialists regret the speculation around these dinosaurs. “These are totally aberrations,” says Ronan Allain, paleontologist at the Museum of Natural History. “It’s the world of luxury, it’s not for people like us. […] We could decide to preempt, but on arrival for the theropod, for example, that would mean that it we have to pay more than a million euros  ! “, regrets the researcher.
    million euros for the theropod.