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Dinosaur Icon Gets a Makeover

Friday, June 12, 2015

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PITTSBURGH--A prehistoric paint job is underway in Pittsburgh.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s iconic “Dippy the Dinosaur” fiberglass statue is getting a makeover.

Dippy makeover
Photos: Facebook / used with permission

Dinosaurs need paint, too. Painters cleaned and recoated the dinosaur statue outside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on Thursday (June 11).

Dippy—more formally, Diplodocus carnegii—has been keeping fans abreast of the progress via his Facebook Page.

Flaking Skin

The elements have been none to kind to the sauropod.

“Sixteen years of Pittsburgh weather had taken its toll: Dippy was not only affected by freeze-thaw, but he had a ‘sunburn’—UV light and heat had begun to damage the coating,” the museum said in an announcement on the restoration.

His skin looked like it was shedding, said Gretchen Anderson, the conservator at the museum.


The project included repairs to Dippy's peeling skin.

Anderson enlisted Lucas Markantone & Associates, of Pittsburgh, to help freshen the dinosaur’s weathered appearance.

Dino Details

In addition to cleaning and painting, the project includes removing an anti-graffiti coating, repairing cracks, and adding decorative etching, Ken Wolf of Markantone & Associates told a local CBS television outlet.

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries Inc. donated seven gallons of PSX 700, a high-performance siloxane-epoxy coating, for the project.

painting Dippy

Pittsburgh-based PPG donated an acrylic aliphatic urethane coating for the Dippy redo.

Dippy has been a Pittsburgh icon since he first roamed the outside of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 1999—the 100-year anniversary of the Diplodocus carnegii fossil discovery by a team of Carnegie scientists.

An avid sports fan, the dinosaur sports scarfs from his Pittsburgh teams throughout the winter.

Editor’s Note: The story was updated at 9:35 a.m. June 16 to reflect a last minute change to the coating system used on the project.


Tagged categories: Coatings manufacturers; Contractors; Graffiti-resistant coatings; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Paint application; Painters; PPG; Restoration

Comment from john lienert, (6/12/2015, 8:12 AM)

i think "OSHA" should take a look closely at that picture of unsafe ladder use....the scaffold is a JOKE

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (6/24/2015, 2:57 PM)

Yep. Lots of unsafe work at heights. No fall protection at all. Two guys working on the same ladder. Working from a ladder at all. Not anchoring the top of the ladder or extending 3' above the contact point.

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