Walk-in queue available at upcoming T-Rex skeleton showcase

Booking slots opened on Sept 29 when Christie’s announced the public preview of the fossilised skeleton.  PHOTO: MARCUS MÜLLER-WITTE, M.A

SINGAPORE - Dinosaur enthusiasts who are eager to catch a glimpse of a Tyrannosaurus rex (T-Rex) skeleton between Oct 28 and 30 can choose to walk in to the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall if they cannot book a slot online.

On Monday, The Straits Times reported that a T-Rex skeleton, named Shen, will be displayed in Singapore before it is auctioned off in Hong Kong on Nov 30.

By late morning the same day, netizens commented on Facebook that slots for the viewing were fully booked at this link: http://www.christies.com/sgtrex

In response, auction house Christie’s Hong Kong – which is bringing in the fossil – said: “Please note that registration slots are subject to availability. However, a walk-in queue will be available during the allocated viewing days to ensure maximum exposure and the opportunity to get a glimpse (of) this astonishing fossil.”

Christie’s added that each registration is for one person, and separate booking forms should be filled for family members or friends.

It added that visitors must register their complete party as soon as possible to secure viewing spots.

Booking slots opened on Sept 29 when Christie’s announced the public preview of the fossilised skeleton. 

In 2020, 79 bones belonging to Shen were excavated from a remote ranch in Montana in the United States. After scientists researched the bones, the skeleton was assembled with additional casts and mounted in an accurate hunting pose. 

The predator is 12.2m long and 4.6m tall, with its serrated teeth bared ferociously.

It will be the first T-Rex skeleton to be auctioned in Asia, with an estimated value of between US$15 million (S$21 million) and US$25 million. A T-Rex has not yet been displayed in a museum in Asia. 

Shen – which means god-like in Chinese – will headline Christie’s 20th/21st Century Art Evening Sale in Hong Kong in November.

On Oct 29 and 30, the other artworks to be auctioned will be showcased next door in The Arts House at The Old Parliament in Singapore. They include South-east Asian art, Chinese paintings and luxury items.

On the excitement behind dinosaur exhibitions, the Science Centre Board’s chief executive Lim Tit Meng said: “It is a rare opportunity to see a T-Rex fossil up close.  Some people may not be aware that most of the fossils on display at natural history museums are casts.

“While we can easily see this online and on nature documentaries, it is nothing compared to standing next to the fossil itself and appreciating first-hand its size, imagining the threat of facing this creature at its prime with its many sharp teeth.”

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