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Texas Natural Science Center The University of Texas at Austin Texas Natural Science Center

Press Room

Press Release

SUBJECT: Mangiasaurus Unveiling on October 25th, Mangiasaurus Day in Austin!!!

FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY THROUGH OCTOBER 25, 2004

TODAY'S DATE: October 18, 2004

CONTACT: Susan Romberg, 232-5654

Unveiling of the restored Mangiasaurus and proclamation of Mangiasaurus Day by Mayor Will Wynn
11:00am, Monday, October 25, 2004
3500 Guadalupe Street -- the Mangia Pizza store
The public is invited FREE ADMISSION!  Free samples of Mangia pizza and Amy's ice cream!
Short speeches by Texas Representative Eliot Naishtat, Mangia owners Jeff Sayers and Mark Negro, Artist John Maisano, and Director of the Texas Memorial Museum Ed Theriot.
Emcee: radio personality Bama Brown of KASE-FM

About the restoration:

Late September 2004, Austin was shocked to hear that the green Mangiasaurus dinosaur statue, considered one of the community's best-loved icons located at the Mangia Pizza store at 3500 Guadalupe, was vandalized.  But help was soon on the way! The Texas Memorial Museum stepped up to help with restoration, sending their exhibit artist, John Maisano, to act as personal physician to the Mangiasaurus, patching him up as good as new. Local businesses, Groovy Lube and Duratherm Homes, stepped up to help with tasks such as moving him to the dinosaur hospital, and lifting him back to his rooftop home. Amy's Ice Creams gave moral support and donated ice cream, and Run-Tex helped with staging for the unveiling. Outhouse Designs generously created and donated t-shirts commemorating the Mangiasaurus' return, all sales proceeds going to the Texas Memorial Museum.

History of the Mangiasaurus:

In 1988, the original Mangia Pizza store was opened on San Antonio Street in downtown Austin.  A number of business people went there for lunch, including one who liked to show off his extensive collection of dinosaur paraphernalia.  Mangia's owner, Jeff Sayers, decided that the size and grandness of Mangia's pizza reminded him of the size and grandness of the dinosaurs, and the idea of a "Godzilla-type" dinosaur for the store's symbol was born.  He commissioned a 12-foot-tall statue of a dinosaur by local artist Dale Whistler, and named it Mangiazilla.  In 1992, it was placed in the dining room of the Mangia Pizza store on Anderson Lane and became a favorite of kids and adults alike.  When that store moved to Guadalupe Street in October of 1996, they took the dinosaur with them, weatherproofed him and gave him a home on the roof of the store, where he's lived ever since (except for part of 1999 when some McCallum High School students decided he needed to visit their school for a day or two).  Over the years, he has become an Austin icon.  Last March, when Mangia Pizza celebrated their 15th anniversary, owners Jeff Sayers and Mark Negro decided to hold a contest to rename the dinosaur the winning name was Mangiasaurus Rex.

For more information visit the Mangiasaurus web page at http://www.utexas.edu/tmm/education/mangia/ or call 512-232-5654.

Texas Memorial Museum is a non-profit organization. Its mission: to encourage awareness and appreciation of the interplay of the biological, geological and environmental forces as they have shaped, are shaping and will shape our world.

Regular museum hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
The Museum is located at 2400 Trinity Street (2 blocks north of the UT stadium). 
ALWAYS FREE ADMISSION. 
 

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