Trinity the T-Rex bought by art foundation, to go on show in Antwerp

An art foundation made the winning $6-million-bid for a composite Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton at an auction in Switzerland this week and will put it on public display, the auction house said Friday.

Estimated to be 65 to 67 million years old, the skeleton called Trinity was made up of bones from three different T-Rexes. It sold at the Koller auction house in Zurich on Tuesday for 5.5 million Swiss francs ($6.1 million).

On the night of the auction, it was only revealed that the buyer was a private European collector, sparking concern that the skeleton might remain hidden, out of reach of researchers and the public.

But on Friday, Koller announced the buyer was The Phoebus Foundation, a non-profit art foundation.

“Phoebus has announced their intention to show Trinity to the public in their Boerentoren cultural centre project in Antwerp,” Koller said in a statement.

The Boerentoren, or Farmer’s Tower, was among the first skyscrapers in Europe when it was completed in 1931.

It was purchased by Phoebus two years ago with plans to turn it into a public space for exhibitions and other cultural experiences.

Once ready, Trinity, which drew some 35,000 visitors during the two-and-a-half weeks it was on display in Zurich before the auction, will become a permanent fixture in the new cultural centre.

While waiting for the Boerentoren centre to be completed, “we are exploring the possibility of lending Trinity to a museum in the meantime, so that the public can already enjoy this unique specimen,” Phoebus Foundation chief of staff Katharina Van Cauteren said.

“Scientists also need not worry: like the rest of our collection, Trinity is available for research,” she said.

Koller auction house owner and chief Cyril Koller hailed the purchase, saying: “We are extremely pleased that Trinity will be made available to the public and to science.” — Agence France-Presse

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