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Dippy The Dinosaur Gets A Makeover

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There's something about dinosaurs that excite young and old alike, including Dippy the Dinosaur that stands outside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

But Dippy has a skin problem.

"His skin, his outer coatings, have begun to flake off," Museum conservator Gretchen Anderson told KDKA's Jon Delano on Monday.

The story of Dippy goes back to his originator inside the Oakland museum.

The bones of this dinosaur, Diplodocus, were acquired by Andrew Carnegie in 1899 and brought to Pittsburgh, the first public display here of dinosaurs.

One hundred years later, Dippy the Dinosaur was constructed outside to honor that acquisition.

Now Dippy is in need of a makeover.

Anderson says the anti-graffiti coating on Dippy has been a problem.

"That is what is making it hard for us to restore. We have to take that coating off before we paint him again."

Craftsmen from Lucas Markantone & Associates are already at work prepping Dippy for his new paint job.

"We are removing the graffiti surface so that we can get a good sound substrate, so that we can then prep the dinosaur, fill in the gaps, fill in the cracks, do some decorative etching to make the folds of the skin continue to look like they are there," said Ken Wolf of Markantone & Associates

"And then turn around and put the primers and the finish coats on the dinosaur to give it a nice fresh look."

There is no final decision yet on paint color. After all, nobody really knows Diplodocus's skin color was. But all paint is being donated by PPG.

The museum is also not going to put an anti-graffiti coating on Dippy again.

"In the 15 years he has been here, he has never been graffiti-ed," says Anderson.

But to make sure no one thinks of trying, the museum has security cameras like this everywhere.

Work on this project should be done in June.

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