by Greg Mayer
David Koch, billionaire industrialist and bankroller of right wing causes, has announced that he will donate $35 million to the National Museum of Natural History (aka the USNM) for an overhaul of its dinosaur hall. The New York Times’ Patricia Cohen writes:
In 2009 he gave the Smithsonian $15 million to create the museum’s Hall of Human Origins. And in 2006 he gave the Manhattan museum [i.e. the American Museum of Natural History in New York] $20 million to create the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing. This latest gift, the largest donation in the museum’s 102-year history, will result in the new dinosaur hall in Washington also being named for Mr. Koch. The total cost of the new hall, with 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, is estimated to be $45 million, a museum spokesman said.
According to this longer AP piece, it seems as if the renovation will extend to the other adjacent fossil halls, and not just the dinosaurs.
As noted by Cohen, Koch funded the Hall of Human Origins at the USNM, which Jerry (here and here) and I reviewed here at WEIT. Koch’s funding also elicited some controversy, regarding whether his climate denialism would be included in the exhibit, which we also noted (here, here and in the PS here) at WEIT.