"For us this was a really important story to tell, as it highlights how the university has benefited, and continues to benefit, from slavery and colonialism, in a way that is usually hidden. One can appreciate the object itself, marvel at its great size, thinking how amazing it is that something like this ever existed, and be excited about all it has taught us about dinosaur biomechanics and movement, but we believe it is necessary to recognise its history, as well as past wrongdoing by the university and others. Despite the obvious benefits of having such a wonderful cast in our possession, both in terms of academic study and inspiring and exciting the public, this piece’s origins are complex and dark. As you will hear, the dinosaur could be considered part of Leopold II’s attempt to encourage his European neighbours to overlook the suffering being inflicted on the people of the Congo at the end of the 19th century - something which deserves to be acknowledged."
Written by Annabel Worth and Kirsten Huffer
Read by Annabel Worth
Audio editing by Emma Pratt
This audio was created as part of Museum Remix 2023, coinciding with the University of Cambridge Museums’ programme of Power and Memory.