PARIS, France — Two dinosaur skeletons marketed as hip design objects– one of a diplodocus, the other of an allosaurus — sold for more than 1.4 million euros ($1.7 million) apiece at auction in Paris on Wednesday.
“The same foreign buyer acquired the two dinosaurs,” the Drouot auction house said, hailing “exceptional” prices for dinosaurs, though neither was a record.
The diplodocus — a herbivorous giant measuring 12 metres long from nose to tail — fetched 1.44 million euros, compared with 1.41 million for the carnivorous allosaurus, a minnow in dinosaur terms at just 3.8 metres (12.5 feet) long.
The two dinosaurs roamed the Earth during the late Jurassic period, around 150 million years ago.
Only about five dinosaur skeletons are put up for auction around the world every year, mostly snapped up by ultra-rich collectors or museums in Europe or the US.
But auctioneers have noted a surge in interest in China.
“Dinosaurs have become cool, trendy — real objects of decoration, like paintings,” fossil sales expert Iacopo Briano told AFP ahead of the auction, citing Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage as fans of such outsize prehistoric ornaments.
The nationality of Wednesday’s buyer was not revealed.
In 1997, McDonald’s and Walt Disney were among donors stumping up $8.36 million to buy Sue — the most complete and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found — for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.