No McWhale face

A 24-METRE blue whale skeleton will take centre stage at Perth’s new museum in 2020.

Canadian company Cetacea, a specialist in “skeleton articulation”, has arrived in Perth to begin the 18-month process of designing and fabricating a frame to support the four-tonne skeleton, which will be suspended in Hackett Hall.

In celebration of what would have been the whale’s 120th birthday this year, Sandgropers have been asked to give it a name.

“We have already ruled out Whaley McWhale Face, in case anyone was wondering,” quipped culture minister David Templeman.

• Culture and the arts minister David Templeman with Mike deRoos and Michi Main from Cetacea.

The winning name will be included in the museum’s display, which will include information on how the skeleton came from a whale stranded at the mouth of the Vasse River, just east of Cape Naturaliste, in 1898.

WA museum conservators have been working on the skeleton for the past two years, painstakingly cleaning, preparing, scanning and weighing its 194 bones.

“Our blue whale skeleton has a special place in the hearts of Western Australians,” says Mr Templeman.

“It is the object that most visitors ask about. It will be a drawcard object that will inspire a new generation of visitors.”

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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