Fire destroys model dinosaur

Arsonists are believed to have destroyed a giant dinosaur built for a touring art project, police said.

The 53ft steel and polyester model was erected on Southsea Common in Portsmouth this summer.

But at 2.40am yesterday a crew from Southsea fire station was called to put out the blaze. .

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The statue, called Luna Park, recreated the discovery in the 1970s of dinosaur bones presumed to be that of the largest dinosaur, ultrasauros, but later identified as coming from two different species.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: "I don't know who did it, but the question has been asked of me that it survived the whole of the summer but within a week of the students returning to university it's been burned down."