Union Station is going back in time again for its next major exhibition, although not as far as its hugely successful “Dinosaurs Revealed!” show that closed last weekend after attracting 165,000 visitors.
“Stonehenge: Ancient Mysteries and Modern Discoveries” will explore the massive and mystical stone structure built beginning 5,000 years ago in the English countryside that has fascinated people for centuries.
The monument, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986, consists of several rings of standing stones, the largest around 23 feet high, and weighing up to 25 tons each.
The huge stones that form its inner ring were hauled from mountains 150 miles away by a little-known civilization that lacked modern means of transportation.
“Stonehenge is one of the world’s most storied and mysterious monuments,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station said in a statement.
“Some consider it a place of mysterious earth energies and other mystical forces. Others regard it solely as an impressive testament to the skills of a long-ago civilization.
“This world-class exhibition will allow guest to explore and experience all of those questions and encounter the very latest that science is revealing.”
The 15,000 square-foot exhibition will include videos, interactive hands-on displays and more than 300 original artifacts, 150 of which have never traveled outside Europe.
The exhibit is currently on display in Belgium and is scheduled to open a four-month run at Union Station May 25.
Guastello said the Kansas City visit will be the first time the Stonehenge exhibit has toured in North or South America. It was curated by Mike Parker Pearson, a professor at University College London. Pearson also will attend the opening here.
“We’re fortunate to be able to bring this world-class exhibition to Kansas City, allowing visitors to experience one of the world’s most iconic monuments without having to travel afar,” Ramón Murguia, Union Station board chairman, said in a statement.
The Stonehenge exhibition follows Dinosaurs Revealed! which closed Sunday following a nine-month run. The exhibit, which featured 26 animatronic dinosaurs, was the first major show completely designed, built and owned by Union Station.
“I’ve been here 10 years and this is the most attended exhibition we’ve done,” Guastello said.
The $2.4 million in revenues from the Dinosaur show more than paid for the exhibit and part of the profits, $150,000, will be used to help maintain Union Station.
Negotiations are underway for the show to be exhibited at a science center in another American city, although Guastello said it’s too early to provide specifics.
The big T-Rex at the corner of Pershing Road and Main is expected to be around for another couple weeks before strutting off its prominent stage.
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