Cyprus Mail

Get up close and personal with a dinosaur

By Alix Norman

To say something huge is afoot in Nicosia would be an understatement. This requires every hyperbolic size-related adjective in my thesaurus: enormous, gigantic, colossal… because this is going to be simply gargantuan in more ways than one: the dinosaurs are coming to town! Forget space, Frozen and Minions, this is the biggest craze of them all, because surely there’s not one of us who hasn’t thrilled to the thought of a Tyrannosaurus Rex or two in town!

Running from January 27 until March 28 at the State Fair, the Living Dinosaurs exhibition is under the patronage of education minister Kostas Kadis and has been brought to Nicosia courtesy of Hellenic Bank. And it’s certainly a coup for the capital, for this is no ordinary exhibition. Living Dinosaurs is, almost literally, just that… these are dinosaurs that move and roar, and are as real as the dictates of palaeontology demand in terms of colour, texture and sound – all hosted in an exhibition that promises to deliver “real-life encounters with these massive creatures”.

A comprehensive educational exhibition that takes visitors on an immersive journey into the past, the event has been put together by the world-class Aurea Exhibitions of Argentina, and curated both by palaeontologist and natural scientist Dr Sebastian Apesteguia and Dr Adrian Giacchino, Director of the Félix de Azara Foundation – a nongovernmental, non-profit organisation which aims to contribute to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, the development of science, and the sustainable use of natural resources.
Billed as an educational event, the exhibition will certainly answer all of your sauropod questions: “What does the word dinosaur mean? What was their world like? When did they live and how many were there? Where did they come from (and, more importantly, where did they go)?” But that’s not to say the events is aimed only at children. Young and old alike will no doubt be amazed by the variety of interactive material, exhibits and shows on offer…

While the highlight of the exhibition is bound to be the 25 different species featured in life-size, animatronic glory – “Watch out for the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, the giant Brontosaurus and the horned Stegosaurus!” warn the organisers – there will be simply oodles of things to discover. Visitors will be able to satisfy their curiosity through the series of stunning exhibits: “different species of animatronic dinosaurs with full range of motion and scientifically accurate colouring and textures”, “flying and walking dinosaurs”, “multimedia experiences”, “landscape backdrops, LED-lit curtains, scenery, and sky and star effects”, animated film and audio-visual equipment” and even “a 3D experience featuring a digitally animated film”! Plus you’ll get the chance to try out the hands-on palaeontology lab, have your photo taken with a dinosaur and – beat this – go on a dinosaur ride!

“We invite you to explore a world ruled by dinosaurs for 180 million years,” say the organisers. “Come face-to-face with incredible skeletons, terrifying predators, vicious carnivores and peaceful herbivores. You will also learn about dinosaurs’ everyday life including the important role of mother dinosaurs that worked hard to build nests and raise their offspring. Living Dinosaurs provides a unique view of these prehistoric creatures’ lives until their extinction 65 million years ago. This incredible interactive show is exciting, engaging, and educational for visitors of all ages.”

Running for approximately two months (weekdays from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 8pm, weekends from 10am to 8pm), there’ll be plenty of time to visit such an extravaganza more than once. But why wait? Tickets can be booked both on the website ( and through the Dino hotline (77772939), at the price of €9 during the week and €12 at the weekend and on public holidays. There are also special offers available for families with more than two children (if you’ve three little monsters, one goes free; proud parents of four can take in two of their offspring at no cost), and tickets for prearranged school groups will cost a mere €5 per person. Plus, if you’re stuck for a party venue with a difference, Living Dinosaurs can host your get-together – you’ll probably find you’re throwing the first kids’ party in history that adults actually want to attend! As the organisers say: “This is a fantastic experience, educational and fun for all the family – a showcase that captures the imaginations of adult and child alike, no matter their age!”

Living Dinosaurs
Halls 1 and 2 at the State Fair from January 27 to March 28. Tickets cost €9 during the week and €12 at the weekend and on public holidays, and are available from and 77772939

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