Dinosaur skeletons are on sale in Paris (massive living room not included).
Paris auction house is about to sell something a little older than its usual fare of antique art and rare books. The skeletons of two dinosaurs, an Allosaurus and a Diplodocus, will go up on the auction block at Binoche et Giquello on Wednesday. The auction house expects the skeletons to fetch a combined $1.4 million, most likely from private buyers instead of museums, which shy away from such steep prices. Dinosaur bones are not usually so expensive, suggesting that they’re not just archaeological artifacts anymore.
“The fossil market is no longer just for scientists,” Iacopo Briano, Binoche et Giquello’s dinosaur expert, told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday. “Dinosaurs have become cool, trendy — real objects of decoration, like paintings.” The prices reflect this fine art attitude, and it’s caused some consternation in the scientific community.
The auction house’s announcement says that it expects the Allosaurus to sell for up to 650,000 Euros (about $800,000) and the Diplodocus to sell for up to 500,000 Euros (about $618,000). The Allosaurus skeleton, which is 60 percent complete, is about 12.5 feet long. The Diplodocus is much larger, at about 39 feet long, but the auction house doesn’t specify its degree of completeness.